Omran Shaaban (22), died at the American hospital in France, 57 days after being kidnapped, shot and tortured by supporters of the late Colonel Gaddafi in city of Bani Walid, south west of Libya.
Omran was freed on September 11 along with two others and flown by aero-ambulance to Misrata where he was found to have torture marks on his body and a bullet wound close to his spinal cord. When Amnesty International visited him in hospital in Misrata on September 12, he was paralyzed and in a coma. He was then flown to Paris where he died. He came to prominence on October 20 last year when he found and captured Gaddafi who was hiding in a sewer tube in Sirte. It was Omran who dragged him out of his hiding place, the drainage pipe. It was in July this year that Omran was kidnapped. He was on his way back from a "military task" with his friend Mohamed Alawiab (members of the "Libya Shield 2" forces) in one of the roads outside of Bani Walid that leads to city of Misrata, when the car he was in came under fire. Since then family and friends lost contact with him, until a month later when he phoned his family to tell them that he had been detained in Bin Waleed and had been paralysed due torture.
Bani Walid was among the last cities to fall under the control of anti-Gaddafi forces during Libya’s internal conflict last year. Everyone probably remembers the way proud towns like Sirte, Sabha and Bani Walid resisted the take-over by NATO and its collaborators in 2011. After long and fierce clashes the gangs were able to enter the city and even install an American Libyan mayor. But that didn't last long: the people in Bani Walid remained opposed to the Armed Collaborators of the Western imperialistic powers who ruined a once lovely country with tens of thousands of missiles. The entrance of anti-Gaddafi forces into Bani Walid in October 2011 was accompanied by widespread looting and other abuses. Hundreds of residents from Bani Walid have been arrested by armed militias. Many continue to be detained without charge or trial across Libyan prisons and detention centres, including in Misrata. Many have been tortured or other-wise ill-treated. At an open session of the United Nations Security Council, the UN special Envoy for Libya Ian Martin said he has “credible information” on several episodes where people have been tortured to death in the country’s secret detention centers. As of November 2011, there were an estimated 7,000 detainees in prisons around the country without any hope for a fair trial. In March, a shocking video emerged on the Internet, showing Libyan rebels torturing a group of black Africans. People with their hands bound were shown locked in zoo-like cages and allegedly being forced to eat the old Libyan flag.
Oct 12, 2012
Gangs from Misrata stationed outside Bani Walid have fired chemical weapons on the city causing numerous casualties and injuries of types that cannot be explained by any "legal" weaponry. Although last year the city was also subjected to such chemical weapons during a siege that cut the population off from water, medicine and food for months, these appear to be new types. Over one hundred citizens are confirmed hospitalised over the past week, at least a quarter of whom are verified as suffering from horrific injuries and effects including hallucinations, muscle spasms, foaming at the mouth, coughing, eye irritations, dizziness, breathing difficulties and loss of consciousness, indicating that the inhalation of toxic gases is a strong possibility. The Tripoli-based occupation regime which has failed to form a government for the past year, with tens of thousands of political prisoners languishing under illegal detention and torture, has denied responsibility. Some pro-regime forces withdrew from their positions outside Bani Walid after the mass protests at the GNC in Tripoli, with commanders saying that they wished to play no further part in the siege. They allowed some supplies to trickle in to the city from Tarhuna after their withdrawal, but these are inadequate after the latest 2 week long siege.
The siege of Bani Walid, Libya’s ongoing political instability, and the alleged torture of Gaddafi loyalists has left the country a far cry from the vision that western powers had when they supported last year's NATO bombing. The residents of Bani Walid have been left without food and other supplies – and are appealing to the UN for help. A petition circulating around the city on Friday night asked the UN Security Council to convene an emergency meeting and “to immediately intervene to protect the civilians in the town.” The situation is very bad. No fuel, no food, no drugs, no communication. Everything is in a very bad situation. But there is little hope for help from UN. The United Nations hasn’t done anything of value in the last decade or two. It’s a complete failure led by the United States and its ‘Mini me’ Britain.
Libyan militias turning on each otherglobal affairs researcher Benjamin Schett.
US military adventurism, and the war crimes committed by the country's forces, impoverish the entire region and ultimately lead to a rise in the number of Islamic militant groups. The United States supported militant extremist Islamic groups in order to topple the government of Muammar Gaddafi last year. And one example is the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group. It is, according to the Washington Post, a terrorist organization with links to al-Qaeda. Nevertheless, in 1996, they received support from British Secret Service MI6 to kill Gaddafi, which did not work out, as we know. After 9/11, in 2001, they still got support from Western powers during the so-called uprising in Libya last year and the NATO bombing campaign. They got support from the US and Saudi allies, so obviously the US never stopped supporting militant Islamist groups as long as it’s in their geopolitical interests. We saw what happened in Afghanistan and Iraq after the US invasion – the clashes between Sunnis and Shias. We see what’s happening now in Syria, where the sectarian violence is being supported from the outside – from the Gulf states, from the US, and from France. And it’s what’s happening in Libya – all these different militias that received support in order to fight against Gaddafi are now turning against each other and are pushing for a tribalization of Libya.
The whole story of the clash of civilizations and Christianity versus Islam – all these stories, they don’t show the real picture. The real picture is that the majority of Muslims are as peaceful as the majority of Christians or Jews or whoever. The policy of supporting militant extremist Islamist groups as long as it serves geopolitical interests and fighting secular independent governments in the Middle East, or direct military intervention and war crimes, impoverishing of the whole region – certainly this leads to an increase of Islamic militant movements, which can turn out to be a threat to US citizens, as we’ve just seen.