Today we learn the international medical aid group Medicins Sans Frontieres have decided to leave Libya after they unwittingly found themselves to be the doctor of choice for Libya’s new torturers.
I’ve asked this before but I am none the wiser: why did we go to war with Libya again and overthrow Muammar Gaddafi? Was it because he was a tyrant who tortured his own people, sometimes to death? Well, that can’t be the reason as that still continues but under the new management, so to speak.
Routine torture, some so bad it kills the prisoners, is still going on in the new Government-controlled detention centres and in make-shift prisons by militia not under Government control, i.e. with no thought what so ever for legislation of the land, as reported by Amnesty International.
Medicins Sans Frontieres has been providing aid out of Misrata’s hospitals. It is here their doctors have been receiving patients with wounds not from the battlefield but clearly from the torture cell. Most of the prisoners have been treated wholly at the detention centres but some were so severely injured from the torturer’s instruments of pain their abusers had no choice but to take them to hospital. The final straw for Medicins Sans Frontieres came when they noticed the patients they were treating were being collected by detention centre guards to be taken back to prison and then were brought back later after another torture session. The doctors were being asked to make the victims fit enough for another bout of interrogation and were being complicit in torture. Therefore, the medical aid workers left the country.
Torture is not the preserve of the Arab world. Britain routinely tortured its prisoners but we stopped doing this in the 1800s. Of course, the US recently took up torture again during the war on terror, which single handily justified to the despots they could continue torturing (and killing) their own citizens with impunity.
It really grates me that there seems to be no discernible reason for David Cameron and Nicolas Sarkozy intervening in Libya last year because the only justification given by these two men was we needed to prevent violence and death by the rulers of Libya. With the way Gaddafi was murdered in the street to the way the new Libya regime treats its detainees today, their mission has patently failed.
Or perhaps there was another reason for sending our bombers over Libya?