Yesterday, Libyan dictator Mu'ammar al-Gaddafi was killed by rebel forces. The Libyan people celebrated in the streets. He was, after all, a brutal tyrant.
But human rights group Amnesty International (AI) noted in a press release that "[al-Gaddafi's death] brings to a close a chapter of Libya's history marked by repression and abuse, but does not end the story."
"The legacy of repression and abuse from Colonel Mu'ammar al-Gaddafi's rule will not end until there is a full accounting for the past and human rights are embedded in Libya's new institutions," said AI Senior Director Claudio Cordone. "Colonel al-Gaddafi’s death must not stop his victims in Libya from seeing justice being done. The many Libyan officials suspected of serious human rights violations committed during and before this year's uprising, including the infamous Abu Salim prison massacre in 1996, must answer for their crimes."
"The new authorities must make a complete break from the culture of abuse that Colonel al-Gaddafi’s regime perpetuated and initiate the human rights reforms that are urgently needed in the country," he added.
AI also called on Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC) to "make public information about how Colonel al-Gaddafi died, making the full facts available to the Libyan people."
In addition, AI called on the NTC to "ensure that all those suspected of human rights abuses and war crimes, including Colonel al-Gaddafi's inner circle and family members, are treated humanely and, if captured, given fair trials."
Amen. Only then can Libya's new government truly progress beyond the brutality and lawlessness of the Gaddafi era.