June 1, 2011 / 7:19 PM / 6 years ago

U.N. finds war crimes by Gaddafi forces, opposition

<p>A rebel fighter and a medic assists an injured rebel fighter at a field hospital near Misrata's western front line, some 25 km from the city center May 31, 2011.Zohra Bensemra</p>

GENEVA (Reuters) - The United Nations human rights forum said on Wednesday a fact-finding mission in Libya has concluded that Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's forces committed war crimes and crimes against humanity.

It also said the mission found some evidence of war crimes by opposition forces.

"The Commission has reached the conclusion that crimes against humanity and war crimes have been committed by the Government forces of Libya," the Human Rights Council said in a statement.

"The Commission received fewer reports of facts which would amount to the commission of international crimes by opposition forces, however, it did find some acts which would constitute war crimes," the Geneva-based council said.

The 47-member council in April sent a group of independent human rights experts including a former president of the International Criminal Court to Libya to investigate allegations of violations of international human rights law.

The commission's report -- handed to the council on Wednesday -- is based on their meetings with 350 people across the country, thousands of pages of documents and photos as well as hundreds of videos, the council said.

The experts examined allegations of excessive use of force, extrajudicial killings, torture, interferences with freedom of expression, sexual violence and attacks on civilians and the use of child soldiers among others.

"The Commission expressed its concerns with regard to these violations to both sides of the conflict, urging each to fully implement international human rights and international humanitarian law," the council said in its statement.

Reporting by Juliane von Reppert-Bismarck; Editing by Michael Roddy

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