Amid reports that former Libyan dictator Moammar Gaddafi had been killed upon his arrest, the United Nations is set to conduct a investigation to determine the veracity of this report. UN human rights spokesman said Rupert Colville said if indeed the reports is true it constitute as a war crime under international law. Colville said if the Libyan rebels indeed committed a war crime when they killed Gadhaffi, the one responsible for it deserved to be prosecuted.
The UN instituted the investigation, after images filmed on mobile phones before and after Gaddafi’s death showed him wounded and bloodied but clearly alive after his capture in his hometown of Sirte on Thursday, and then dead amidst a jostling crowd of anti-Gaddafi fighters. Based on the Geneva Conventions in 1949, which lay down the rules of conduct in armed conflict, it is prohibited to torture, humiliate or murder detainees.
Gaddafi, was the autocratic ruler of Libya from 1969, when he seized power in a bloodless military coup, until 2011 when his government was overthrown in a civil war which consisted of a popular uprising aided by a NATO intervention. His 42-year rule prior to the uprising made him the fourth longest-ruling non-royal leader since 1900, as well as the longest-ruling Arab leader. He variously styled himself as “the Brother Leader” and “Guide of the Revolution”; in 2008 a meeting of traditional African rulers bestowed on him the title “King of Kings”.
It has now been confirmed, by an autopsy, that Gaddafi died of a bullet shot to the head.