by Eva Tam
More than a month after his death, the Libyan ruling National Transitional Council (NTC)is still investigating who killed him , and how he should have been treated after his capture remains an international debate.
Gaddafi was captured on Oct. 20 with some injuries, but died from a shot in his head later that day. Government officials told journalists that a forensic report concluded that Gaddafi was shot when he was caught in crossfire. Other witnesses said that Gaddafi was shot in an execution-style. The BBC released an amateur video footage that claimed the person who shot Gaddafi was celebrating with others soldiers after his death.
Human Rights Watch said there are strong clues that Gaddafi was killed in custody. The earliest video of Gaddafi in detention shows him alive but bleeding on his face. Another video shows that he was put in the hood of a vehicle and the next one shows him getting pulled from the car into an angry mob that appears to beat him.
“There is ample evidence to open a credible investigation into the deaths of Gaddafi and his son Muatassim. Finding out how they died matters. It will set the tone for whether the new Libya will be ruled by law or by summary violence,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, the Middle East and North Africa director at the Human Rights Watch.
Abdel Hafiz Ghoga, vice chairman of the NTC, said in a press conference that the Libyan authorities have already started investigations on Gaddafi’s death.
“We had issued a statement saying that any violations of human rights will be investigated by the NTC. Whoever is responsible for that (Kadhafi’s killing) will be judged and given a fair trial,” said Ghoga.
Human Rights Watch, as with most people in the international community, felt that Gaddafi should have been put on trial.
“(This) deprives the Libyan people of the chance to see him held to account in a fair trial at the ICC for the egregious crimes he allegedly committed while suppressing peaceful demonstrations in February 2011,” said Richard Dicker, the head of International Justice Program in Human Rights Watch.
But some people, like socio-political commentator, Allan Tacca, wrote an opinion piece in the Daily Monitor that a trial was not necessary.
“Ultimately, Gaddafi created the conditions in which only his death could end the chances of his mischief. …no person can be so large or so invincible as to defy even their mortality,” he said.