Middle East

Rights group urges Libya not to carry out executions

BENGHAZI, Libya (AP) — A human rights group is urging Libyan authorities to maintain a de facto moratorium on executions after 45 people were sentenced to death last week over violence during the 2011 uprising.

Eric Goldstein of Human Rights Watch says Wednesday that “a judiciary that is in shambles has no business sentencing defendants to death by the dozen.”

Last Wednesday, a Libyan court sentenced 45 people to die by firing squad in a case that dates back to August 2011, when longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi’s forces clashed with rebels in the capital, Tripoli. Another 54 people were sentenced to five years in prison and 22 were acquitted.

Gadhafi was overthrown and killed two months after the clashes. Libya is now split between rival governments, each backed by an array of militias.

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