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UN rights agency seeks probe into Gaddafi's death

October 22, 2011 13:47 IST

The UN human rights body has sought a probe into Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi's death to determine whether he was killed during fighting or after his capture, saying that thousands of victims of the eight-month conflict have the right to know the truth.

The circumstances surrounding the former Libyan leader's death in his hometown of Sirte are unclear, with four or five different versions surfacing of how he died, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said.

"There are at least two cell-phone videos, one showing him alive and one showing him dead. Taken together, these videos are very disturbing," Rupert Colville, OHCHR's spokesperson, said in Geneva.

Colville said there is need for an investigation and more details are needed to ascertain whether Gaddafi was killed in the fighting or after his capture.

He said that thousands of victims who suffered loss of life and several others who were subjected to torture and other human rights violations over the past eight months have the right "to know the truth, to see the culture of impunity brought to an end, and to receive reparations."

"It will be essential for alleged perpetrators to be brought before trials, which adhere to international standards for fair trial, and for victims to see that accountability has been achieved," Colville stated.

Colville said "a neera" is now beginning in Libya, which should respond to the aspirations of the people for democracy and human rights.

"For this to become a reality, human rights must be the cornerstone of all policies and actions, and people must have the chance to have a real say in determining the future of their country," he said.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had on Friday urged all sides in Libya to lay down their arms and work together peacefully to rebuild the North African nation that has seen months of fighting and killing.

Meanwhile, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said that, from Sunday, newly arriving third-country nationals from Libya at Egypt's  Saloum border will not be processed for resettlement.

Saloum has been one of the main sites over recent months for people fleeing the crisis in Libya.
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