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tv   Doc Film - Libya - Rape as a Weapon of War  Deutsche Welle  March 5, 2019 6:15am-7:00am CET

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there's no such thing as a clean war. nor makes every sort of atrocity possible. rape has always been seen as an inevitable consequence of war collateral damage an opportunistic byproduct of conflict and conquest but today we know that rape is also used as military strategy as a weapon in its own right of all war crimes rape is the least likely to come to light.
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in bosnia rwanda congo and syria women and children were the main victims. in the libyan conflict it is men who appear to have been the targets although proof has been hard to come by. even after six months of investigation there are still no leads the moment the word rape is mentioned in libya everyone falls silent only one person has dared to break that silence back in march twenty seventh at the very start of the revolution.
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the man accused the regime of raping insurgents her cry was heard around the world the dictator was toppled but libya was plunged into civil war. rumors of rape continue to grow. the international community professed concern but then the matter was dropped. libya has become a power keg. thousands of migrants pass through the country on their way to the mediterranean sea. the state has collapsed and two rival governments have risen in its wake armed militias fool the streets. rumors of rape continue but it's still not been confirmed.
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one day the veil began to lift across the border in tunisia a former libyan official agreed to speak. i've never seen any libyan customers here i'm sure you have. but they don't say much. to medicare afraid and i tell you why because in libya there are many different alliances. you never know who's with whom you take me for
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example out of school no one knows whose side i'm on when i talk to someone i try not to reveal who i am or who i work for. everyone is scared you don't want to risk giving away information. good news for form of option model. in libya ramadan was a public prosecutor in the chaos following the overthrow of gaddafi in two thousand and twelve he sent militia members to prison for murder the very next day they were released and threatened to kill him. thank you my friend. ramadan left the country. in tunis he joined a group of libyan activists in exile. he spent months coordinating the activities of people who want to break through the silence and expose the crimes being
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committed in their homeland all of the crimes. every. semester you can believe that handcuffed from behind. me where is he now. apparently in tripoli. and this video was filmed near let's watch it and then you can explain. it to me. so. that said he saw it sadistic so. i said no.
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and then you know what. even though you know it happens because the victims tell you their story it's. on a video and you see it with your own eyes. to feel really good to see that canuck arena. so to be what they filmed it then let them go kill those two. there's another one we don't see it was also part of the group. he was sitting back there. they did everything to him to go down his pants and shove the gun into him some autonomy penetrated him like this here in the video. when i asked if i could put it in the report he said no no you can write everything
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that. you can change. well in that i wanted to help him look at another arc and i can it was ok in that i understand. in libya people say just ahead. if you say that guy was mistreated maybe instead of saying it's wrong they say what did he do to deserve it you believe that's true you're part of some other look for a reason they always say yes start hell he deserves it. didn't take us fifty years to get over this and there's a constant television. in libya rape is something unspeakable a to do so powerful that it must be silenced. an entire nation is in denial.
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of. the man is an underground activist but he's determined to bring the issue of rape out into the open. to. him it has received death threats he carries his entire life in a suitcase and sleeps in a different place every night. when you see a libyan someone from your country doing such things i mean you feel ashamed. if you look well of course when i was in libya i ended up hating all libyans but my
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father couldn't but it's still my country. i saw for over that everyone is fighting every one of us had been a mess no sane person could be happy there. and the other was after gadhafi is death in twenty eleven the world thought the war was over. to have been terrible. but when gadhafi fell another war began. but this. meant that. we should know if someone told you your brother was killed or your brother was raped of what would be worse my brother was raped looking.
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for a long time yet seen remained in the shadows hiding behind his computer tired and hesitant voice saying that he knew men and women who had been raped and who needed help in reality he was talking about himself. one day in november yasin arrived in tunis. municipal you know one of the higher. i did you can offer to pay a victim millions to testify in court he still say there's no way for me i can't tell you what happened to me so i don't want to be known a victim is afraid of being recognized he would be humiliated.
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look at all the higher you chip triple zero feel the fear is always with you. if you become paranoid if you think everyone knows it was a computer business whatever happens they'll be no justice. for you that's the worst part of your ear. or that the criminal who did this is walking free bar. if you were to find out that i testified he would tell me. and everyone would know that it can read it here. it is winter in tunis the drainage system is overflowing and the investigation is at a standstill. image and ramadan has spent months interviewing the victims they've gathered
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a massive amount of information on the crimes committed in libya. but they still do not have evidence solid enough to be admissible before an international court of justice and they lack support. celine bad day knows libya well she's an expert on international law and a criminal investigator with twenty years experience tracking sexual violence in conflicts around the globe in two thousand and thirteen she helped draft a law intended to protect the victims of rapes committed under gadhafi regime. that law has yet to be enacted.
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celing by day knows that war crimes will continue if the law does not intervene. she is determined to continue her fight. celine is going to meet the mad and ramadan. we are. a team it's not just me and the methods we have many libyans you know and we have or need to work inside on the ground and what we are trying to do we have trying to collect a lot of documentation from this year and organizations as two thousand and eleven since ok since two thousand and eleven two thousand and eleven. there is sometimes not just militias. do the crime there is people working for ministry of the minister frontier how we can deal
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with this kind. you know that recently at the i.c.c. for rape you know the case bamba he was sentence and he didn't rape nobody but she was you were sentence for rape because the older it or even knew that it was happening of and you didn't do nothing so that's a very important case because ninety existing the jurisprudence and this is also something we can use in our our case for almost three issues really so close of what you were to mention how we count toward to give up our team and you and your team to submit this case is international week and you know of the idea is all the case you have each individual situation that you may have collected each time we
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need to look at when it happened and where it happened because if you don't do that you get killed before a court that's why i am telling you this we have to work on that and to to show our systematic it is you know and then you have a case of legally speaking. you are in. in a special situation. you cannot bring a case in india ok but it doesn't mean that it has to stop now i think we can work on that to put pressure towards international instead you are going you know that nick cetera and prepare a case for the i.c.c. and we need to push for the i.c.c. so we have to show that this is a priority and to bring a something like. this room. i think that it is a paradox of international law for the international criminal court to agree to
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take on a case the libyan activists in tunis must first establish that a work crime was committed in their homeland which the court will be able to prove their. saline examines the files intrusted to her incomplete witness statements and fragments of medical records are a testament to years of persecution and abuse. we need a strong tone the constant humiliation in the home in front of your children or your family. so sad is destroying your dignity the dignity of your children and family and your community look over the body becomes the battleground once that happens everything else follows it's like a. i don't know what to compare it to the question.
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there are. sexual violence in war has always existed the rape of the say by and women as the spoils of war set out the warriors reboard. yeah but there was a major shift in the one nine hundred ninety s. was equal at best what amazes me is that we didn't grasp the importance of that change it to good effect that's when mass rape began to be used in bosnia in rwanda and so it continued. that's when we began to realize this was no longer a kind of collateral damage it had become a strategic instrument. just to name one example an example in the sun has whether it's boko haram or the islamic state there are written manuals on out textbooks in other words this was these are methods that are being developed and planned in advance that will sit back and not simply spontaneous acts.
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it often takes years of investigation to document the use of mass rape in war for a med and ramadan this is just the beginning of a long process. but a lot of it's hard so i think we have a long way to go either we continue or we quit. and want to so i don't hide if i'm not it's a mistake but i'm also afraid i must not say how long whenever i hear that fighting against it scares me. and later then if only they'd go out and fight in the desert but they come instead into the cities and attack civilians you've.
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just seen has reappeared. this time he's ready to tell his story the revolution the seizure of the city of misrata by gadhafi troops and his attempt to escape. with me. what happened is very hard to describe. how do you know they rounded up more than thirty people.
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i mean mistake took us to the prisons into whether a. homebody threw us out of the cars like gasoline that's in the can and eighty our hands were tied behind our backs out of our legs were tied. in a cigar so they tossed the south. it's just like not to not know what you could be on to some fell face down. on the shoulder ahead and many different but one hot. in the head that the way you felt was a matter of luck was luck. and your call we went through the unimaginable in that if you will for hostler they tortured us in a special room. all the prisons in misrata are torture that. they knew the worst thing was to let us live in wonder and so that we would never forget what they did. in the mist that had never. been even to bush in the
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fall i can't talk about such things america said it's too difficult to solve. yes seen believes that what happened that night in. march twentieth eleven has made
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him in fertile. but he's never had any medical tests he had no one he could trust. to miss provides him the anonymity he needs to see a doctor. ahead is this an old or recent injury in the. it's old. it's an old injury yet it does its thing yes it does all right come with me. yes he needs more tests and medical exams but it's too much for him once again he disappears. he said but the bulletin if it's a method of domination trees healing for them is too mild bitty that's just a bullet there's no suffering. if it's really this way you make them suffer. in
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your body or not that man had an anal fissure a wound for him it's a physical thing it's like having an indelible stain a mark that says you were right philip uli usually i think it won't let him forget it even ten years later. he's been raped defiled for life is very symbolic someone is humiliated made to submit and no one talks about it anymore not. someone who has been raped will never seek to dominate it's an instrument of submission is despicable but it's a weapon of war in europe mr number you. let
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me see what libya is a pandora's box. now one crime comes out then another and then another. it's never ending itself now. is there a pattern a sequence of events. every statement by a witness however incomplete could contain details that add substance to the file that is being assembled. isn't from libya but she lived there she was kidnapped and raped like us seen during the siege of misrata now she's trying to come to terms with what happened.
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she exists in america i know it's hard was it about you know i worked in bosnia there was no no in bosnia book or rape it was used a lot to humiliate the women who really had a fight and humiliate their husbands really badly defined. get them along just like in libya that's why as part of my job i often talk to women who think it's their fault or don't know that this has happened to other people to their sons. oh it is a lot that i was involved up i was out of here i had a call from dakar i know it's not my fault. but i never thought it would happen to me. what happened. there riteish following even though i know such things could happen during the war but when i was given a lot i think i don't want to talk about the problem because it's not like it is for you in the west it's
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a very difficult topic for us they're still doing it today i know they had orders to rape to humiliate and to leave they came from gadhafi. pretty good there. rape on command that's all fat mom wants to say but she does provide a few concrete details the soldiers' uniforms their weapons their vehicles a portrait of the soldiers who carried out the orders begins to emerge. so near was one of got dopy soldiers who is now in tunis on good days his gaze is open on bad ones it's a skull. his body is covered in scars. he says that what happened made him
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go a bit crazy. some used units took part in the seizure of misrata in two thousand and eleven he was witness to some of the early horrors of the revolution. us. during the war we went into people's houses. terrible things were done to them and. some soldiers rates people. but i can't tell you the battalions name. but it's completely true. the minute a soldier always follows orders. he a base the officers about him. see if. they tie up the brother the father and rate the daughter in front of them. you
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want the revolution but say look where raping your daughter. others even rape the muffins. afterwards they say i was in misrata and i rate i've been guarding i raped at tobruk i raped what is this boasting. i rape your sister rape truck. but i did this to you i also rate joe mother well what kind of a fight is that almost. all of those. almost looked after that the revolutionaries were even worse. one hundred one when i was in prison they did everything to what they teach us they stopped us thinking raped us we're going to repay you the doc because they said it was. so horrible you know what i mean. the code everyone uses violence but that's
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wrong. it destroys everything it is a country apart so. the first campaigns of mass rape were intended to crush the libyan revolution. then revenge took its place libya's former rulers deployed rape. the new ones adopted the same tools it was a vicious circle. in the spring of twenty seventeen the international criminal court finally broke its silence it published an indictment against a senior official of the gadhafi regime who had allegedly ordered soldiers to commit rape stering the revolution the libyan exiles had to act quickly and they
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had to gather more evidence in support of the case documentation to prove that rapes were ongoing. they had to go back to libya despite the risk. of course i'm afraid of who wouldn't be. the militias are stronger than ever they could kidnap you and kill you on the spot. they don't even try to talk.
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they catch you torture you and kill you and then they throw you by the roadside and that's it. who wouldn't be afraid. but i have no choice in the clock is running we have to continue our work of the investigation must go on the ship that. libya has crumbled the capital tripoli is a volcano at times it is deceptively dormant at other times it erupts.
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at the other end of the city a man is waiting for a minute. after six years in prison he was released just two weeks ago. and he is just twenty nine but looks like an old man. kind of kind of has to be if you want to tell me something i'm listening to you know it's like you can. brahim died in front of my eyes. they said you're going to die you have to walk a dog may god help us. that they had dogs and commanded them to attack us. and we going to they had dogs. they came in and beat us. all right now tell me what kind of abuse did you and torture rape. torture and even worse q tell me. i can tell you what happened with the migrants in
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the to where. they threw them in to gather. here in the prison yes they wanted them to mountain each other. they shut them up together naked yes naked. the entire night. what else happened. it is usually did you see prisoners get raped shuford yes but they won't talk about it. they had to get on top of each other. but i didn't do it sounded ok. in the cell they'd come in and hit my genitals with
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a stick. they'd say undress take off your clothes. and told me to get on my hands and knees. just look. good naked and yes. others away you alone we were in single cells. guns so you were alone. and and then they penetrated you with things. you don't have a stick or something else. a stick. they out of the many times. that we thought that they had a razor. at the tower and if you moved. there they'd hit you with it or to.
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show you another time now i have physical problems i have leakage from my bowels. he. can't i understand. have you been treated. in. all. the times it goes away. that. early in tripoli and as made in tunis described the same pattern the same methods abduction torture forcing
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migrants to carry out rapes. the crimes appear to be systematic ones. but alley reveals something new. because he's from the town of tal where he was subjected to special cruelty. from the to where guns are mostly the descendants of black slaves. in libya they've always been considered second class citizens they were accused without proof of having supported got off the soldiers in the rapes they carried out in rebel to. hounds and cities. as a result the to where guns have become the focus of hatred. in that is able to meet with to where going to activists who have recorded the abuses suffered by their community they have lists of missing persons former
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prisoners the names of secret prisons precise dates. just. lose it. for imad one thing is clear his own people are being persecuted abducted and systematically abused. the lists are proof. they to where god has become a major target. the evidence exists mass rape has been carried out in systematic fashion what's more these where gonna have become the scapegoats of libya's war.
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unless our last law has reached a critical point. now any ordinary person can go get a to where gun and rape torture do whatever they want it's legal it's acceptable some people even think it's a national duty in the whole wide the. paul solved in order for us to start considering possible legal proceedings we have to analyze all of these documents and assess them in legal terms. it's very clear that from twenty eleven on rape has been used repeatedly mass and on a mass scale to this day it's wrong that within that. contex there's the issue of the to where model of film was nil by way of example during the bosnian conflict war crimes were committed they were crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing. instructor needs a small place eight thousand people were victims of that town is just
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a very small place in bosnia but there the crime was recognized as genocide because of the intent to destroy the people of srebrenica and what we see here based on what i've seen and heard this seems like a very similar case so we have to find proof of intent says if we may be able to find proof of intent to commit genocide against the to where can people that there will be. more crimes crimes against humanity and possibly genocide. in libya six years of chaos have spawned a nightmare mass rape as a weapon of war including the rape of men. a weapon that serves to perpetuate a conflict that no one seems willing to end. the activists based in tunis have done what they can. now it's time for the
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international court to take over. a year has passed since yes seen first came to tunisia. he now knows he's not in fertile in that at least his persecutors have failed. the survivors have spoken their voices are an accusation they hope the world will finally hear the. country they took on life before saying if i caught my tormentor i'd have tortured him to death. but not anymore. my anger has
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subsided a little they need a qualified came across my told for today asked. i don't wait for justice to be done shuffle saying that initially i no longer seek revenge than anger any if they're from.
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