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HRW: Al-Werfalli is still at large despite committing war crimes in Libya

Mahmoud Mustafa Busayf al-Werfalli speaks in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi on 26 January 2017 [ABDULLAH DOMA/AFP via Getty Images]
Mahmoud Mustafa Busayf al-Werfalli speaks in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi on 26 January 2017 [ABDULLAH DOMA/AFP via Getty Images]

Human Rights Watch (HRW) criticised retired General Khalifa Haftar's failure to hand over the commander of Al-Saiqa Brigade Colonel Mahmoud Al-Werfalli, despite his involvement in war crimes and the arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) against him, noting that despite all this, "he is still at large."

The international human rights organisation added in a report published on its official website, that Al-Werfalli is wanted for killing 33 people in seven incidents between 2016 and 2017 and another incident in 2018 when he shot ten people.

Al-Werfalli is wanted by the ICC on charges of committing war crimes, and he is on the Interpol list of people wanted for carrying out summary executions.

HRW stated that "hundreds of residents of Tarhuna town are still missing after they were kidnapped by the local Al-Kaniyat militia (commanded by Al-Werfalli) and forcibly disappeared."

The report pointed out that despite the establishment of a fact-finding mission to investigate the violations committed by Haftar's forces by the UN Human Rights Council on 22 June, this UN body has not started working yet due to the outbreak of coronavirus.

READ: Blackwater founder denies sending mercenaries to support Haftar in Libya

The organisation quoted the ICC as saying that its office sent two missions to Libya in 2020, which enabled it to collect important evidence about Al-Werfalli and other war criminals, without providing details about the ongoing investigations.

On 15 August 2017, Pre-Trial Chamber I of the ICC issued an arrest warrant against Al-Werfalli, a commander in Haftar's forces, for committing war crimes and executing more than 30 people.

On 11 December, Washington included Al-Werfalli on its sanctions list, after he was accused of "having directly or indirectly engaged in serious human rights abuses." This came three months after the EU took similar measures.

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AfricaHRWICCInternational OrganisationsLibyaNews
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