Libya's new rulers said on Tuesday that they strongly condemned any human rights abuses perpetrated by either side in the seven-month uprising against Moamer Gaddafi's regime.
The National Transitional Council vowed to investigate any allegations against anti-Gaddafi forces but added that the great majority of alleged abuses detailed in a damning report published by human rights group Amnesty International on Tuesday were committed by the ousted regime.
"The NTC is firmly committed to human rights and the rule of law, both international and local," the council's executive committee said in a statement.
"The Amnesty report is overwhelmingly filled with the horrific abuses and killings by the Gaddafi regime, however there are a small number of incidents involving those opposed to Gaddafi," the committee added.
"The NTC strongly condemns any abuses perpetrated by either side," the NTC statement said.
"The NTC is putting its efforts to bring any armed groups under official authorities and will fully investigate any incidents brought to its attention."
In its report, Amnesty said dozens of people suspected of being former security agents, Gaddafi loyalists or mercenaries had been killed after capture in eastern Libya since February.
"Opposition fighters and supporters have abducted, arbitrarily detained, tortured and killed former members of the security forces, suspected Gaddafi loyalists, captured soldiers and foreign nationals wrongly suspected of being mercenaries fighting on behalf of Gaddafi forces," the London-based watchdog said.
"The NTC is facing a difficult task of reining in opposition fighters and vigilante groups responsible for serious human rights abuses, including possible war crimes, but has shown unwillingness to hold them accountable," it added.
"Allowing them to escape justice will send a message that serious human rights violations will continue to be tolerated."