Sunday, 28 August 2011

Orla Guerin in Libya

I don't know why, with so many harrowing reports coming out of Libya, I should have found this one so affecting. It was the excellent Orla Guerin's report this evening for the BBC, from a smoking warehouse at the former base of the Khamis Brigade, run by one of Gadaffi's sons, fifteen miles from Tripoli, where the crew had uncovered evidence of a massacre of up to 130 civilian prisoners in the last days of the regime:

"...there was worse to come... We can't show you the kind of pictures that would convey the horror of what happened in here, and it's very hard to even imagine the terror in the last few moments for these men who were trapped inside. What we can say for certain is that they were shown absolutely no mercy...

...They promised them water at sunset, but they came with guns instead...

...Husbands and fathers and sons were gunned down in here; men who never lived to see a free Libya."

Several things occurred to me after watching Guerin's very moving report: I will be thinking about these poor men for some time; I don't know how the news crews cope with what they have to witness; and most important, may this please not be the tip of the iceberg - someone, I think it was the BBC's correspondent in Benghasi, said tonight that of 55,000 people missing since the start of the rebellion, only 11,000 have been accounted for.
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