Rights group: Libyan ex-envoy dies after arrest

February 3, 2012 - 5:55 AM

CAIRO (AP) — Human Rights Watch says that a Moammar Gadhafi-era diplomat appears to have died under torture after his arrest by a Libyan militia, the latest in a series of reported abuses by former rebels who overthrew the dictator last year.

The New York-based group said Friday that 62 year-old Omar Brebesh, who served as ambassador to France, died less than 24 hours after his arrest in Tripoli on Jan. 19 by a militia from the western Libyan town of Zintan.

The group says that photographs of Brebesh's body provided by the family show extensive bruising and other wounds.

It says that a Zintan prosecutor had reportedly opened an investigation into the death.

Rights workers say that abuses including torture, executions, and rape take place in makeshift prisons run by former rebels.