The Injustice Of Gaddafi’s Death

Finally the Libyans can taste a new world of liberality and equality, but I will not celebrate Gadaffi’s death.

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Another day, another leader sinks, and another new nation rises up. The death of Colonel Gaddafi, who reigned with brutal terror for 42 years, has caused little mourning across Libya and the rest of the world.

Frequently branded a lunatic, his regime may have been one of the longest in the Arab world for 100 years. Gaddafi kept his country under strict control through a mixture of fear, corruption, executions and secrecy. People could simply vanish, and only now are the mass graves of thousands beginning to be uncovered.

But I will not celebrate the fact that he is dead. I will rejoice in the Libyan peoples’ freedom, and hope that finally they can taste a new world of liberality and equality, in whatever expression of government they choose. But the capture and death of Gaddafi was so quick and so confused and carried out in such a frenzied moment of blood-lust that I am quite honestly revolted by it.

Rebels celebrate Gaddafi’s death 

Shot and dragged through the streets, Gaddafi suffered humiliation and extreme pain. But there was no justice, and there never can be. Gaddafi will never be asked to face up to his crimes either in front of a court of his own people or the international community.  Whether he then would have faced the death penalty or not is a separate debate. But there should have been something which could begin to heal the wounds of hundreds of thousands.

The reaction we witnessed on the news, Youtube and Twitter was mob-justice, dealt out so swiftly and violently that there was no time to pause or reflect.

I don’t know what I would have felt if I had been standing there, watching my freedom blossom in front of me, as the man who had tortured and terrorised my family and country lay dirty and bleeding in the street. But I worry that there will be no reconciliation to the people of the old regime, and what will follow will be a political wipe-out.

What identity can a new Libya create for itself when it has begun in hatred and blood?