Gaddafi and his son Mutassim were secretly buried in the desert early October 25, according to the interim National Transitional Council (NTC) government. Both had been found and killed in a final push by NTC forces on Gaddafi’s Mediterranean hometown of Sirte. Obligated to Muslim fatwa or religious rules on burial, the NTC obliged a secret ceremony.
The government opted for a secret rather than public burial due to fear of his burial ground becoming a shrine to his followers and the possibility of a future movement against the new government being formed.
Details as to Gaddafi’s death are still unclear. While he was captured in Sirte, ambiguous reports about him being shot in the crossfire have arisen, and videos exist of him still alive and surrounded by rebels. He was later to taken to the town of Misrata at which point he was officially declared dead. The interim Libyan government is under pressure from the international community to provide clearer answers relating to Gaddafi’s death.
One of Gaddafi’s other sons, Saif al-Islam, was reported to have escaped the battle in Sirte in a military convoy and is still at large.
There have been comments in the international community that the NTC has already proven itself to be no better than Gaddafi in its stance on human rights. “This is a test. The NTC has repeatedly said that they will distinguish themselves from the Gaddafi regime in terms of the respect of human rights and the rule of law,” as U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman pointed out demonstrating another belief that the clean state starts now that Gaddafi is gone. “Now is the time for them to begin actions that will help them reinforce these words.”