UN: Libyan Rebels Committed War Crimes, Too
But rebel offenses not as systematic, widespread as those of Gadhafi's forces
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 2, 2011 9:23 AM CDT
Men walk next to a destroyed tank in Tripoli Street, the center of fighting between forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and rebels in downtown Misrata, Libya in this May 23, 2011 file photo.   (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
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(Newser) – A UN investigation has found evidence that both sides of the Libyan conflict have committed war crimes—though the rebels had committed fewer than Moammar Gadhafi’s forces. The rebels were accused of torture and cruel treatment against migrant workers, “which would constitute war crimes,” the report said, according to the BBC. But these violations do not appear to be “part of any ‘widespread or systematic attack' against a civilian population,” and hence don’t amount to crimes against humanity.

Gadhafi’s forces, on the other hand, committed murder, torture, and sexual abuse in just such a widespread and systematic fashion. “The consistent pattern of violations identified creates an inference that they were carried out as a result of policy decisions by Col. Gadhafi and members of his inner circle,” the report says, according to MSNBC. The report was released yesterday, shortly after NATO extended its mission in Libya for another 90 days.