Tripoli's Tajura prison is full of men accused of fighting for Muammar Qaddafi.
Some prisoners were injured in battle, and others were captured when trying to escape the battlefield. However, few of the prisoners confessed to fighting for Qaddafi; the majority of them denied any relationship with the strongman's regime. For example, one of the detainees in the prison, Muhammad Abu Bakr, a blacksmith from Chad, denies he was carrying arms, as the rebels alleged.
“The rebels stopped and asked me, “what is your nationality?” I told them I am from Chad. They replied get out! Do you have weapons? I said no, I’m a poor man,” said Abu Bakr.
The women being held in the prison also have their share of stories. Many say they were forced to carry arms and fight for Qaddafi.
“I arrived when the uprising began, on February 20 exactly. I entered Libya through Egypt. I was given weapons but I was not a volunteer in the popular guard,” a female prisoner told us.
Nevertheless, all prisoners are being treated decently and are provided food and medical care, says the prison’s warden, Abdel Hakim Halib.
Another female prisoner said, “We get everything we want. Yes, there are times when the guards come in and tell you inappropriate things, but then they leave,” she said.
However, rights group Amnesty International's Diana Al Tahnawi said that rebel forces have in some instances violated the rights of Qaddafi soldiers, especially when arresting them.
Original Arabic report: Ahmed Bagato
Translated: Stanela Khalil