[JURIST] Libyan Prime Minister Al Baghdad Ali Al-Mahmoudi [BBC backgrounder] requested that the UN create a “high-level commission” to investigate alleged human rights abuses [Reuters report] by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) [official website]. Though NATO was mandated by the UN to use force in order to stop Muammar Gaddafi [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] from fomenting violence upon Libyan citizens, the campaign has allegedly gone beyond the scope of protecting civilians and recently led to the death of 85 civilians in one night [All Africa report] after NATO forces bombed a residential area supposedly housing a rebel command center. The current Libya conflict arose [JURIST report; CNN timeline] out of a February 2011 protest to remove Gaddafi’s government, which resulted in the death of over 200 peaceful protesters calling for reform.
There have been numerous allegations of war crimes and human rights violations over the Libyan revolt. In July, lawyers filed a civil suit against NATO [JURIST report] for killing 13 civilians in an airstrike bombing of a residential neighborhood in violation of the Geneva Convention [ICRC materials]. Earlier that month, the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) [official website], after an investigative panel, published a 92-page report on human righsts abuses in Libya, decided to extend its mandate [JURIST reports], instructing it to continue investigating allegations. The report claims Libyan authorities have committed varying crimes against humanity “as part of a widespread or systematic attack against a civilian population with knowledge of the attack.”