The death of Col. Muammar Gaddafi captured the world with shocking video and photo imagery of the final moments of the dictator’s life. Now, following the global hysteria over the death of the tyrannical ruler, organizations and countries have come out to speculate if indeed the death of Gaddafi was lawful.
Gaddafi was captured in his hometown of Sirte on Thursday and was announced dead by National Transitional Council (NTC) leaders the same day. The Russia Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the death of Gaddafi breached the Geneva Conventions.
He said, “We have to lean on facts and international laws. They say that a captured participant of an armed conflict should be treated a certain way. And in any case, a prisoner of war should not be killed.”
The Geneva Conventions compromise of four treaties and three protocols that establish the international legal standards in which victims and prisoners of war should be treated.
Article 12 of the convention states that prisoners of war are the responsibility of the state while other articles state that prisoners of war must be treated humanely and their medical needs must be met.
Hugo Chavez, Venezuelan president and a long-time Gaddafi ally told CNN, “Regrettably, Gaddafi’s death has been confirmed. He was murdered.”
Chavez added that he will “remember (Gaddafi) all of my life as a great fighter, a revolutionary, and a martyr.”
Other commentators have come out to suggest that the brutal death of the tyrant may have delivered immediate gratification, but ultimately does not deliver justice, particularly if it happened against international legal standards.
The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights has said that the death of Gaddafi needs to be investigated as the circumstances surrounding his death remain “unclear.”
Human Rights Watch have also called for an investigation into the death of Gaddafi saying on their website, “The willful killing of a person in custody is a serious violation of the laws of war and is a war crime that could be prosecuted by the International Criminal Court.”
Libyan officials have postponed the burial Gaddafi to enable further investigation into the death of the 69-year-old former “king of kings,” however the NTC maintains that Gaddafi was not executed but “unintentionally” killed in crossfire.
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