Gaddafi Killed Over a Thousand People in 1996 and Nobody Had Anything to Say About it: Libyan Abu Salim Prison and Mass Grave Location

Abu Salim Massacre Victims
Abu Salim Massacre Victims

UPDATE: Gaddafi was shot and killed on October 20 in Sirt. See Gaddafi killing video and map.

The news from Tripoli, Libya is not good. Mass graves of over 1000 prisoners killed in cold blood 15 years ago are uncovered around the capital, illustrating in vivid detail Gaddafi’s brutal dictatorship. The start of the Libyan civil war in February 2011 can be tracked back to family requests to Gaddafi’s regime to account for the missing prisoners.

In 1996 over 1200 prisoners incarcerated at the Abu Salim Prison, in southern Tripoli, Libya were killed in cold blood by Gaddafi’s military police. The prisoners were a mix of common criminals and political offenders, including some fundamentalist militants. A Human Rights Watch Report recounted the facts:

Around 5:00 a.m. on June 29, security forces moved some of the prisoners between the civilian and military sections of the prison. By 9:00 a.m. they had forced hundreds of prisoners from blocks 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6 into different courtyards. They moved the low security prisoners in block 2 to the military section and kept the prisoners in blocks 7 and 8, with individual cells, inside. Al-Shafa’i, who was behind the administration building with other kitchen workers at the time, told Human Rights Watch what happened next: At 11:00 a grenade was thrown into one of the courtyards. I did not see who threw it but I am sure it was a grenade. I heard an explosion and right after a constant shooting started from heavy weapons and kalashnikovs from the top of the roofs. The shooting continued from 11:00 until 1:35.

Location of Abu Salim Prison. Mass grave was found in its immediate vicinity.


Sorin Adam Matei

Sorin Adam Matei - Professor of Communication at Purdue University - studies the relationship between information technology and social groups. He published papers and articles in Journal of Communication, Communication Research, Information Society, and Foreign Policy. He is the author or co-editor of several books. The most recent is Structural differentation in social media. He also co-edited Ethical Reasoning in Big Data,Transparency in social media and Roles, Trust, and Reputation in Social Media Knowledge Markets: Theory and Methods (Computational Social Sciences) , all three the product of the NSF funded KredibleNet project. Dr. Matei's teaching portfolio includes online interaction, and online community analytics and development classes. His teaching makes use of a number of software platforms he has codeveloped, such as Visible Effort . Dr. Matei is also known for his media work. He is a former BBC World Service journalist whose contributions have been published in Esquire and several leading Romanian newspapers. In Romania, he is known for his books Boierii Mintii (The Mind Boyars), Idolii forului (Idols of the forum), and Idei de schimb (Spare ideas).

One thought on “Gaddafi Killed Over a Thousand People in 1996 and Nobody Had Anything to Say About it: Libyan Abu Salim Prison and Mass Grave Location

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *