Amnesty says 46 killed by Libyan security forces

LONDON Fri Feb 18, 2011 5:33pm EST

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LONDON (Reuters) - Human rights group Amnesty International said on Friday its sources had said Libyan security forces had shot dead at least 46 people in the past three days.

Amnesty said in a statement sources at al-Jala hospital in Benghazi had reported 28 deaths and more than 110 people injured in Thursday's protests in the city, and at least three further deaths on Friday.

Local human rights activists reported at least 15 deaths on Thursday during protests in the nearby town of Al Bayda, an Amnesty International spokeswoman said.

"This alarming rise in the death toll, and the reported nature of the victims' injuries, strongly suggests that security forces are permitted use lethal force against unarmed protesters calling for political change," said Malcolm Smart, Amnesty International's director for the Middle East and North Africa.

"The Libyan authorities must immediately rein in their security forces. Those responsible for unlawful killings and excessive force -- both the direct perpetrators and those who gave the orders -- must be identified and brought to justice," he said in the statement.

Amnesty said the sources at al-Jala hospital in Benghazi had told it the most common injuries were bullet wounds to the head, chest and neck.

Thousands of people protested in Benghazi, Libya's second city, on Friday over a security crackdown in which dozens of people were killed but which failed to halt the worst unrest of Muammar Gaddafi's four decades in power.

(Reporting by Adrian Croft; Editing by Andrew Dobbie)

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Comments (8)
I would love to see nonviolence succeed in Libya and Bahrain and where ever else people yearn to live freely and with leaders who lead with the consent of the governed. But how is that possible when you have despots who don’t care about anything but holding on to power? Dr. King spoke of meeting physical force with soul force (or something to that effect). At some point will a despot like Gaddafi say “Okay, I’ve killed as many people as I can stomach. I give up”?

Feb 18, 2011 9:14pm EST  --  Report as abuse
JayBourke wrote:
I pray that these despots may be replaced by a wise and just leader. Unfortunately a strongman will likelly be replaced by the next strongest man. Libya and all others looking for true freedom, time will tell, and until then best wishes. My sincere condolences to those who must die to bring about this change.

Feb 18, 2011 10:50pm EST  --  Report as abuse
quattro4 wrote:
Nonviolence only works in countries that have sufficient force(and desire) to enforce the laws regarding civil rights. Without that protection, the nonviolent protestors will soon be consumed by violent men who are not afraid to slaughtered or imprison those who disgaree with them.

You do not need to kill or jail every protestor to silence a movement, you just need to kill or jail enough to make said movement numerically irrelevant.

Of course, you need the army on your side to do this. As Egypt shows, a despot without the army’s support is a paper tiger.The army is the key to all of this.

Feb 19, 2011 1:29pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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