CNN) — Libyan rebels are arbitrarily detaining dozens of civilians suspected of being loyal to ruler Moammar Gadhafi and are holding them without trial or due process, Human Rights Watch charged Sunday.
At least one person is thought to have died in custody, with his body showing signs of torture, the group said in a report based on visits to rebel-held parts of Libya.
It is difficult to tell exactly how many civilians are being held without charge because some are held by militias and because the rebels do not clearly distinguish between civilian detainees and captured pro-Gadhafi fighters, Human Rights Watch said.
The rebel Transitional National Council, based in Benghazi in eastern Libya, is seeking international support including money in its battle to oust Gadhafi. A NATO-led mission that has focused airstrikes on Gadhafi’s military capability bolsters the rebel efforts.