May 18, 2016

Human Rights Watch Report Highlights Clinton’s Failure And ISIS’ Success In Libya

Secretary Clinton’s failed intervention in Libya has long dogged her campaign and cast a shadow over her foreign policy record. Her attempt to spin her support for the intervention became more difficult today as Human Rights Watch released a report detailing the horrors of life under ISIS in Libya.

ISIS currently holds a 120-mile-wide swath of the Libyan coast and, according to the report, has between 4,000 and 6,000 fighters in the country. ISIS has 1,800 fighters in Surt alone and has conducted 49 executions there, often following “largely secret proceedings”:

ISIS publicly decapitated at least two people with swords and in most other cases shot them dead in the head, more than a dozen residents said. Those the group deemed ‘spies’ were first shot dead, then dangled from scaffolding for two to three days at Zaafran roundabout on the western edge of the city, in an act that the residents referred to as ‘crucifixions.’

Additionally, ISIS has forced a “severe interpretation” of Islamic law on the residents of Surt and has begun flogging those who do not comply:

They said Hisba (morality) police aided by informants patrolled the streets threatening, fining or flogging men for smoking, listening to music, or failing to ensure their wives and sisters were covered head to toe in loose black abayas, and hauling boys and men into mosques for prayer and mandatory religious education classes.

Those who have attempted to flee ISIS’ repression in Surt, as two-thirds of its 80,000 residents have, fare little better. There is almost no humanitarian aid available from either the government or aid agencies for refugees.