By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli, 7 August 2014:
Amnesty International has said that the indiscriminate shelling of civilian areas in Tripoli and Benghazi is . . .[restrict]a war crime.
In a statement published today, it said that sides in the conflicts in Tripoli and Benghazi had to stop the indiscriminate shelling of civilian areas, which, in many cases, has led to the deaths of innocent people.
“The warring parties in Tripoli and Benghazi have displayed a wanton disregard for the safety of ordinary civilians who have found themselves mercilessly pinned down by indiscriminate shelling with imprecise weapons that should never be used in populated areas,” said Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programmed at Amnesty International Philip Luther.
“All sides in both these conflicts have an absolute obligation under international law not to target attacks against civilians,” Luther added.
In both Tripoli and Benghazi, the indiscriminate shelling of urban areas using mortars, artillery, GRAD rockets and anti-aircraft weapons had been extensive, Amnesty noted. The firing of such imprecise weapons in urban areas resulting in death or injury to civilians amounted to a war crime, it said.
Parties to the conflict had an obligation to refrain from attacks that disproportionately harmed civilians or failed to distinguish between civilians and combatants, it stated. Quoting to the Ministry of Health figures of 214 people and 981 injured in the two cities, it pointed out that among them were civilian women and children.