“The treatment was inhuman,” said Doctor Osama Mussa, as the prison guards around him looked uneasy.
“They burnt people with cigarettes, beat their feet, hung men by their arms – look here,” he said, showing dark swollen rings and scars around his and other prisoners’ wrists and arms.
“They put people in single cells. This man had his toenails pulled out,” the jailed doctor said.
Doctor Mussa’s testimony makes uncomfortable listening for the mainstream media journalists, as it describes the treatment meted out not by so-called Gaddafi loyalists, but by Libya’s Western-backed “democratic” rebels.
It comes as the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon prepares to release a report that says 7,000 “pro-Gaddafi prisoners” are languishing in Libya, often in makeshift private jails, without legal process.
The UN has also expressed alarm at reports of abuse and torture. Dr Mussa made his claims on November 24, hijacking a tour organised to show how well prisoners in Khoms, 90km east of Tripoli, were being treated. Instead, the 34-year-old prominent Jamahiriya supporter and other prisoners insisted they had suffered systematic abuse.
The UN report says that many of those detained are black Africans, held because of their skin colour, following media lies that Gaddafi used “mercenaries recruited from sub-Saharan Africa.”
The report said that many of those in custody are simply economic migrants who held jobs in Libya and were caught up in the American-European war against the country.
“Some detainees have reportedly been subjected to torture and ill treatment,” the report said.
For almost ten months now, Black Libyans and other Black Africans have been the victims of massacres, torture, shooting, abuse and humiliation.
“The truth is that Gaddafi had sympathy for black Africans”, a Nigerian man who lives in Libya said. “In fact, there is a city in Southern Libya called Suyima that is mostly populated by Nigerians, especially the Hausa. The city shares borders with Algeria and Niger. But due to Gaddafi’s sympathy for the blacks, the Libyan rebels consider the blacks as their enemies and decided to kill any black man they come across.”
A resident of Bani Walid reported to Reuters on condition of anonymity for fear of the rebels: “Under Gaddafi everything was great and now there’s nothing. They will find me. Anyone who tells the truth in Libya gets slaughtered.”