World

Tripoli voices speak of torment

  • 25 August 2011
  • From the section World

As the battle for control of Libya continues, these eyewitnesses give BBC News a snapshot of life in the capital, Tripoli.

Moez, a doctor from Manchester, UK

A lot of casualties arrived last night to the hospital where I'm based at Mitiga air base.

A large lorry arrived around dusk that had about 17 bodies in the back of it.

These bodies were apparently executed by Gaddafi loyalists.

A man injured during fighting at Bab al-Aziziya compound in Tripoli receives medical treatment at a temporary field hospital August 23, 2011
Medical workers warn that supplies are running out in some hospitals

We interviewed one survivor who they had also tried to execute, and he told us what had happened.

He said they were captured from various different places and held in a makeshift prison in a school.

When Gaddafi's forces retreated from that area two days ago, they executed them all.

He was shot in the leg and in the hand. He played dead so that they wouldn't kill him.

He said there were about 26 people in all who had died, but we only saw 17 bodies yesterday.

It happened in the Ghabour district which I believe is near Abu Salim.

Sami, an engineer

For two days, we have had no water in the tap. It is very stressful for the families.

Everyone is paranoid about the water situation. It's very, very frustrating. And we are also very nervous.

There are 14-year-olds armed with machine guns, Kalashnikovs, pistols, whatever. They are all firing, and you don't know if it is war, or celebration, or chaos.

I am starting to reach the point where I can't believe anything I hear.

I was born in 1969. I was brought up in this system, I was educated in this system, you get used to this environment.

We have lived this, we understand it - we know the barriers, and we know the rules. It's part of our lives.

To change to something unknown is very difficult.

It will take time to gather all of Libya's tribes, and to forget the bloodbath. Many people have lost their lives.

And the rebels, what are they going to tell them? "Hey take a vacation, go home." These people have guns.

Most of the people in the Transitional National Council are from the old body, they worked for Gaddafi's system. So it it will be the same faces - though maybe they will have more freedom than before.

Habib Lamine, writer and poet, just freed from Abu Salim prison

I feel a free man, as if I was born today.

Rebels stormed the prison gate, they came in and unlocked the cells, and we came out as free Libyans to enjoy the sunlight and enjoy the freedom that has spread all over Libya.

Members of Libyan Islamic Fighting Group are welcomed by relatives and friends on August 31, 2010 after being released from the Abu Salim prison in Tripoli.
Hundreds of prisoners have been released in recent days

I was imprisoned by the intelligence services on 16 February 2011.

They tortured us, they starved us, they humiliated us. They stripped us of our humanity.

Thanks to the rebels, Gaddafi has been thrown into the dustbin of history.

Now Libya is free, it's farewell to the chaos, disorder and the autocratic rule that has blighted our lives for the past 42 years.

We are witnessing a revolution similar to the French Revolution - Gaddafi's Bastille had been destroyed.

Gaddafi had been defeated, all his prisons have been stormed open.

He has fallen in the eyes of history.

Poetry, history and legend will document the victory of the Libyan people as we enter the 21st Century.

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