"We're Witnessing the Violent Lashings of a Dying Beast": Gaddafi's Brutal Crackdown in Libya

Libyan dictator, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, vows not to leave the country as opposition protesters take control of key cities. After a week of demonstrations, thousands of protesters have been killed or injured by pro-Gaddafi police and hired mercenaries, and more than a thousand people are missing.

For the latest news from Libya, Democracy Now! interviews Hisham Matar, a renowned Libyan novelist who is based in London. He is the son of a prominent Libyan dissident, and he is currently helping to run an ad hoc news desk informing the Western media of events occurring in Libya.

"The world now is watching a massacre, and history will hold the international community responsible," Matar says, "Not only because we are watching a dictatorship, an unelected dictatorship, massacring its own people, but we are watching a dictatorship that the world has profited from close relations with."

"I think what we're witnessing is the violent lashings of a dying beast, who is willing to go to extreme measures in order to try to cling on to power," Matar says. "It's definitely unraveling, but the question that remains is that how many more people will this man kill before he either leaves or meets his end, one way or the other. That seems to be the question."

For the complete transcripts of the interview and for more reporting on the popular uprisings across the Middle East and North Africa, visit Democracy Now! and sign-up for our daily news digest email. Join us on Facebook.