A senior U.N. human rights official says there is a risk of serious abuses occurring when the last strongholds of ousted Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi fall to revolutionary forces.

The head of the U.N. human right's office's rule of law section, Mona Rishmawi, says perceived Gadhafi loyalists face persecution when fighting in the towns of Sirte and Bani Walid ends.

Rishmawi says Libya's transitional government is trying to ensure the rights of captured Gadhafi fighters are protected but "the system that is currently in place is not adequate."

She said in Geneva Friday that "there is a lot of room for abuse" of the estimated 7,000 people detained in sometimes makeshift prisons throughout Libya.

Rishmawi recently visited Libya as part of a U.N. delegation.