Footage that emerged yesterday of Moammar Gaddafi’s final hours shows a crowd of fighters gathered around the bleeding, balding strongman, who they shove on to the hood of a pickup truck, and then drive down the street in a parade of their victory.
Gaddafi, who had been dragged from a drainage pipe, begs for his life as he struggles against them, stumbling, and according to a translation by Britain’s Sky News, yells at the fighters: “What you are doing is not allowed in Islamic law,” and then, his last words: “Do you know right from wrong?”
They were striking words from a man who was wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity, only the second sitting head of state to ever have an arrest warrant hanging over his head from the ICC.
Once praised for his country’s human rights record, that record rapidly deteriorated after Libyans rose up against their dictator in February.
When the ICC issued arrest warrants for Gaddafi, his son and spy chief in June, the body cited evidence that the three could be “guilty of murder and the persecution of civilians,” or “crimes against humanity.”
The court investigated extrajudicial killings and bombings of civilians ordered by Gaddafi, actions which are believed to have left thousands dead.
The ICC also investigated allegations of rape, including from five of Gaddafi’s female bodyguards, who came forward in August to say they had been sexually assaulted and abused by their former leader. Ordinary Libyan women also came forward to say they had been raped during the conflict, some of them by as many as 20 soldiers at a time.
After seeing footage of Gaddafi’s death, however, the U.N. human rights office says there needs to be a full investigation into the circumstances of his death, too. Watch the graphic video below:
Rupert Colville, a spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, told reporters that the videos of Gaddafi before death were “very disturbing.”
Gaddafi will be buried according to Muslim tradition as soon as the investigation is concluded.