In part 1 of this series we covered the exploits of Matthew VanDyke, an American Georgetown grad who traveled to Libya to join his friends and participate in the armed rebellion against Gaddafi’s 40+ year dictatorship.  In part 2, Matt told me about the circumstances of his capture by the Libyan military.

“On March 12 I went with three other rebels on a reconnaissance mission to Brega. Ra’s Lanuf had just fallen to Gaddafi’s forces a couple of days before, and Brega would be attacked next.  We did not think that Gaddafi would move so quickly after taking Ra’s Lanuf and thought we had a few days before Brega would be attacked. The plan was to recon the city, identify defensive positions, and then return to Benghazi to gather more men and weapons before going back to Brega to help defend it.

On March 13, during the reconnaissance mission, we were ambushed by Gaddafi’s forces. I was struck in the head during the ambush and woke up in a prison cell to the sound of a man being tortured in a room above me. I have no memory of the ambush or what happened to the men I was with. One minute we were talking to some locals in the street who served us coffee and I took their picture, and the next thing I remember was regaining consciousness for a few seconds with my hands and legs tightly bound and me being carried, and then I woke up in the prison cell.

I had what may have been a flash of memory about the ambush return to me during my first few days in prison, but cannot be 100% sure if it was a real memory or a dream. But I believe it is a memory.”

This is a difficult question, but do you want to go on the record regarding the mistreatment you received while you were held prisoner by the Libyan military?

“I wasn’t held as a prisoner by Gaddafi’s military for long. I was interrogated once, and then transferred to the custody of Libya’s Internal Security Agency and placed in Maktab al-Nasser Prison.  I had video footage on me that showed me working as rebel and was captured with other rebels in a truck with a DShK mounted in the back and a RPG.

They didn’t need to ask me any more questions after the first interrogation.  The reason they didn’t need to ask me any more questions after the first interrogation was because of the video footage, not because they got anything out of me.  I never confessed to being a rebel fighter.