Once a dictator, always a dictator. When this nutcase overthrew his father and took over Libya in 1969, he was known as "The Black Prince" and "The Handsome", although the latter is hard to imagine. Khadafy-duck has a long history of radical approaches to dealing with issues. The only thing he has for leverage is oil, but it does give him a powerful bargaining chip.
I'm pretty sure the beatings were perfectly legal an justified under Islamic law.
"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -- Benjamin Franklin