But AI in a statement said: "Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases, as the ultimate form of cruel and inhuman punishment and a violation of the right to life," said Malcolm Smart, Amnesty International's director for the Middle East and North Africa.
Fourteen people were executed in the capital, Tripoli, Cerene reported, while the four other executions were carried out in Benghazi, Libya's second largest city. Though their identities have not been made public by the Libyan authorities, Daily Champion, however gathered that majority of the victims were Nigerians.
A Nigerian who lives in Tripoli and who spoke on the conditions of anonymity said: "At least 10 Nigerians are among those that were executed. There are over 50 Nigerians awaiting execution. Some of them were convicted on flimsy reasons," our source said:
Foreign nationals are also at a disadvantage compared to Libyans in seeking commutation of their death sentences because they generally have limited financial means and lack a family network in Libya that can assist them by negotiating with the family of their alleged victim.
To date, the Libyan government has resisted moves towards the abolition of the death penalty. In December 2007 and 2008, Libya was among the minority of states that voted against successful United Nations General Assembly resolutions calling for a worldwide moratorium on executions.
"The Libyan authorities must declare a moratorium on executions and join the international trend towards abolition of the death penalty," said Malcolm Smart of the Amnesty International.
"They should also commute the sentences of all those on death row. Last Sunday's dreadful events should not be repeated. The authorities should reveal the identities of the 18 people who were executed and vow to desist from further executions."
Amnesty International urged Libya to ensure that the most rigorous internationally-recognized standards for fair trial are respected, particularly in death penalty cases.
"It is unconscionable that people may still be sentenced to death and executed in Libya after trials which fail to meet the highest international standards," Smart said.