The New York Times has apparently come across photos that show atrocities Muammar Qaddafi and his henchmen committed on Libya's own people. "Some depicted corpses bearing the marks of torture," the Times reports, describing the photos they came across. "One showed scars down the back of a man dressed only in his underwear, another a naked man face down under a sheet with his hands bound. The faces of the dead bore expressions of horror. Other pictures showed puddles of blood, a table of jars, bottles and powders and, in one, a long saw."
In a labyrinthine basement, workers were clearing out burned books and files. One room contained a two-liter bottle of gin. Gesturing into another room that was kept dark, a worker mimicked a gun with his hands and murmured “Qaddafi,” suggesting it was an execution chamber.
The Qaddafi regime's response is predictable. "A spokesman in Tripoli for the Qaddafi government said Wednesday that the photographs depicted crime victims or crime scenes, not scenes of torture," the Times reports.
But the marks and bindings on some of the bodies appeared to depict captives, and the origin of the photographs could not be verified.
Journalists discovered the photographs and records on an official trip to this devastated city, where Qaddafi forces battled rebels for nearly a week to retake control. They were the latest reminder of the long record of arbitrary violence against civilians that now overshadows the government’s efforts to broker an end to the international airstrikes and domestic rebellion threatening Colonel Qaddafi’s four decades in power.