Mass grave from 1996 found in Libya

A horrific massacre at a Libyan prison in 1996 resulted in more than 1200 inmates being slaughtered after they rioted for better conditions and more liberal visiting rights. The mass grave containing those bodies has been found with the help of some prison guards.

The National Transitional Council released some details of what transpired:

On June 28, 1996, prisoners rioting over poor conditions and restricted family visits seized a guard and escaped from their cells.

"Five or seven minutes after it started, the guards on the roofs shot at the prisoners who were in the open areas," former prisoner Hussein Shafei told Human Rights Watch in an interview years later.

Security officials ordered the shooting to stop and feigned negotiations, he told the organization. But officials instead called in firing squads to gun down the prisoners.

After the inmates agreed to return to their cells, they were taken to prison outdoor areas, blindfolded, handcuffed, and shot.

At first, said Gady, the bodies were buried inside the prison walls, but moved outside the walls in 1999.

There are probably several of these gruesome sites scattered throughout Libya - just as there were in Iraq.


A horrific massacre at a Libyan prison in 1996 resulted in more than 1200 inmates being slaughtered after they rioted for better conditions and more liberal visiting rights. The mass grave containing those bodies has been found with the help of some prison guards.

The National Transitional Council released some details of what transpired:

On June 28, 1996, prisoners rioting over poor conditions and restricted family visits seized a guard and escaped from their cells.

"Five or seven minutes after it started, the guards on the roofs shot at the prisoners who were in the open areas," former prisoner Hussein Shafei told Human Rights Watch in an interview years later.

Security officials ordered the shooting to stop and feigned negotiations, he told the organization. But officials instead called in firing squads to gun down the prisoners.

After the inmates agreed to return to their cells, they were taken to prison outdoor areas, blindfolded, handcuffed, and shot.

At first, said Gady, the bodies were buried inside the prison walls, but moved outside the walls in 1999.

There are probably several of these gruesome sites scattered throughout Libya - just as there were in Iraq.


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