UN Probe Opened Into Torture By Gadhafi Forces

The Associated Press<BR>
Libyan rebels who are part of the forces against Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi ride on an armed truck near Ras Lanuf, eastern Libya, on Monday.

The Associated Press
Libyan rebels who are part of the forces against Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi ride on an armed truck near Ras Lanuf, eastern Libya, on Monday.

A U.N. special investigator said Wednesday officials are investigating allegations that Libyan ruler Moammar Gadhafi's forces have abducted, tortured and executed opponents.

The U.N.'s special rapporteur for torture, Juan Mendez, told The Associated Press that the probe has focused on the Gadhafi regime's alleged executions of patients pulled from hospitals, shots fired at crowds of protestors and other uses of disproportionate force.

The investigation "was an urgent action, at the beginning of the troubles," he said. Mendez said he had received complaints from Gadhafi's opponents when his crackdown began in mid-February and he sent a formal notice to the government demanding information about the allegations.

"Those communications are confidential, so I can confirm that we are engaged. But we cannot say more about it," he said Mendez, an Argentinian lawyer and American University visiting professor of international law in Washington D.C., said he is teaming up for the probe with the U.N.'s special rapporteur for extrajudicial executions and a panel of experts on disappearances He said they would demand information from Gadhafi's regime and if the responses are inadequate, that would be noted in monthly reports to the U.N.'s 47-nation Human Rights Council based in
Geneva.


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