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Human rights group: Dozens of civilians facing death risk at hands of Haftar forces

February 1, 2018 at 2:13 am

Libyan Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar’s forces patrol through the streets of Libya [zdig1‏/Twitter]

On Wednesday, the Libyan Human Rights Solidarity organisation has warned that dozens of civilians are at risk of death at the hands of Khalifa Haftar’s forces.

In a statement the organisation pointed out that 29 people have been extrajudicially executed, “since January 23 until today.”

The statement added that till today, neither the House of Representatives nor Haftar issued any statement clarifying their position on these crimes and the measures that have been taken.

The organisation said that the silence of the House of Representatives, the leadership of Haftar’s forces and “their reluctance to stop these crimes and hold the perpetrators accountable” reach the level of collusion and participation in the crime.”

Read: Haftar’s forces accused of extrajudicial executions in Libya

The organisation expressed its “concerns that the number of victims is likely to increase, as it has received information about raids and kidnappings, which are being carried out by armed groups in the city of Benghazi (east).”

The organisation also stressed “its support for the statement of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya, in which it demanded to immediately take Mahmoud Al-Werfalli to the International Criminal Court.”

Last week, a video, which captured the military commander in Haftar’s forces Captain Mahmoud Al-Werfalli executing more than seven tied-handed people in Benghazi, has been circulated.

Last Thursday, the United Nations Support Mission in Libya called for the immediate extradition of Al-Werfalli to the International Criminal Court, especially that it monitored at least five executions which he committed or ordered to in 2017.

Read: Rights lawyers pressure ICC to try Haftar for war crimes

On 13 September, 2017, the International Criminal Court reiterated its call to the Libyan authorities to extradite Al-Werfalli for war crimes charges following his direct involvement in seven executions, in which 33 people were killed in Libya in 2016 and 2017.

Al-Werfalli was a prominent leader in the elite forces of the Libyan Army, and then split with his battalion from the regime of Muammar Gaddafi (1969-2011) during the 2011 revolution, before fighting alongside Haftar’s forces east of the country.

Since the overthrow of Gaddafi, several armed groups have been fighting in the oil-rich Arab country, where two governments, the internationally-recognized Government of National Accord in the capital Tripoli (west) and the Interim Government in Al Bayda’ (east) that follows the parliament, are competing over power.