Moammar Gadhafi's government has swept up bloggers, journalists, suspected rebel fighters, and even teenage protesters in an organized effort to quash rebellion in Libya, Amnesty International said in a report today. The group said its workers in Libya have documented 30 cases of people who have disappeared in the east, some of them as pro-Gadhafi forces retreated from rebel attacks. It fears Gadhafi's forces have taken the detainees to his strongholds in western Libya.
"What we've got now is a beleaguered government trying to crush protesters," said Amnesty's director for the Middle East and North Africa. The detainees include:
- Adel Abdullah El-Gehani—a Libyan army colonel who began posting articles on the Internet criticizing human rights abuses under Gadhafi. He was arrested Jan. 14 by military intelligence officials, Amnesty International said.
- Ali Abdelounis al-Mansouri—who was arrested Feb. 2 by members of the Internal Security Agency after posting items on the Internet calling for peaceful demonstrations.
- Mohammed Mosbah Soheim—a former reporter for the Cerene newspaper who had written articles calling for democratic reforms on websites and his Facebook page. He was taken from his home on Feb. 16 by plainclothes security agents, Amnesty said.
(Read more Amnesty International