'Torture' video shows 'Gaddafi's black African mercenaries locked in a zoo cage and force-fed flags by Libyan rebels'
By GRAHAM SMITH
Last updated at 3:01 AM on 3rd March 2012
A shocking video that appears to show Libyan rebels torturing a group of sub-Saharan African detainees has appeared on YouTube.
The footage shows a dozen or so men - presumably captured mercenaries suspected of fighting for the toppled government of Muammur Gaddafi last year - held in what looks like a caged zoo enclosure.
They each have their hands tied behind their back and are sat on the cage's dirty floor.
More objectionably, each has the old Libyan flag stuffed into his mouth.
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Shocking: Video footage that appears to show Libyan rebels torturing a group of sub-Saharan African detainees has appeared on YouTube
Prisoners: The footage shows a dozen or so men held in what looks like a caged zoo enclosure, with their hands tied behind their backs and the former Libyan flag in their mouths
While a crowd of men gather round the enclosure jeering, their prisoners are made to hop on the spot.
The man filming the scene, who remains off-camera, can be heard shouting: 'Eat the flag, you dog. Patience you dog, patience. God is great.'
It is impossible to verify whether the video, which was leaked onto YouTube last week, is genuine and where and when it was filmed.
It has emerged as the UN this week said that the Libyan revolutionary brigades accused of torture still hold captive three-quarters of detainees from the country's civil war.
A lack of judicial police has prevented the government from taking control of more jails, the UN said on Wednesday.
Up to 6,000 detainees are estimated to remain in brigade facilities, while the Ministry of Justice has taken charge of eight detention centres holding 2,382 people.
The figures were revealed to the UN Security Council by Ian Martin, the UN special envoy for Libya.
Many of the detainees are sub-Saharan Africans whom their captors accuse of being Gaddafi mercenaries, based in some cases purely on the fact that they have darker skin.
Jeered: The men are likely captured mercenaries suspected of fighting for the toppled government of Muammur Gaddafi last year
Humiliating: While a crowd of men gather round the enclosure shouting, their prisoners are made to hop on the spot
The UN human rights agency and aid groups have accused the brigades of torturing detainees during Libya's nine-month civil war.
Mr Martin has urged the Ministry of Justice to accelerate the process of asserting government control over detention centres.
But he said: 'Progress continues to be complicated by insufficient numbers of judicial police.'
He added: 'We will continue to work closely with the authorities and to encourage them to ensure that inspections of known facilities are undertaken, that secret locations are identified and brought under government control, and that abuses are investigated.'
Accusations of the mistreatment and disappearances of suspected Gaddafi loyalists are embarrassing for Libya's ruling National Transitional Council, which has vowed to make a break with practices under Gaddafi and respect human rights.
It is also awkward for the Western powers which backed the anti-Gaddafi rebellion and helped install Libya's new leaders.
The UN Security Council meets in New York on Wednesday. It heard that up to 6,000 detainees are estimated to remain in Libyan brigade facilities
Racism? Rebel fighters hold captive a sub-Saharan African man suspected of working as a mercenary for the Gaddafi regime last August
Out of control: Rebel fighters question another sub-Saharan as they search for Gaddafi army soldiers in Tripoli in August
Gaddafi's 42-year rule collapsed when his forces fled Tripoli in August, and the last of the fighting in Libya ended in October when he was captured and killed by rebels.
Libyan Ambassador Abdurrahman Mohamed Shalgham told the UN Security Council that detainees held by the government, including a number of former Gaddafi ministers and senior officers, were treated well.
Mr Shalgham said: 'However, let me say that there are areas where the state has not been able to control. There is not police or courts in those areas.
'We cannot be responsible for all excesses everywhere. We are against them, we object to them and we hold the perpetrators of such acts responsible.'
Mr Martin said that while the armed brigades lacked clear lines of command and coordination, they continued to perform important security functions often for long periods without payment.
He said: 'Contrary to the impression given by some media reports, although they seek guarantees that the transformation for which they have fought is securely on track, there is little indication that they wish to perpetuate an existence outside state authority.'
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2109327/Libyan-rebels-force-feed-flags-sub-Saharan-mercenaries-shocking-torture-video.html#ixzz1oAF3vd57