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Reactions on grave digging in Benghazi

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LIBYAPROSPECT – Editorial

Digging graves, parading corpses by the Dignity Operation affiliated forces led by General Khalifa Haftar aroused row on different levels.

Pictures were posted showed the abuse and parading of bodies in the streets of Benghazi, which shocked many supporters and opponents of the Dignity Operation, besides media professionals, intellectuals, and civil society institutions who condemned the crime, demanding the perpetrators to be referred to justice.

From its side, the National Commission for Human Rights – Libya (NCHRL) expressed that “it denounces the incident, and the abuse of one leader of Benghazi Shura Council, Jalal Makhzum.” It described that as “heinous crime, which contradicts with the humanitarian and religious values, and not relevant to the values of the Libyan society.” It also regarded it “a war crime, a flagrant violation of the rules of war of the international humanitarian laws, Geneva conventions regarding war prisoners, and armed conflicts.” The NCHRL demanded Benghazi court of appeal, the Defense Committee of the House of Representatives (HoR), and Benghazi General Prosecutor to launch an urgent inclusive investigation in the matter.

The media man, Mahmud Shammam, said, on his Facebook page that “despite what Benghazi faced, the loss of dozens of its sons, and the amount of pain doesn’t justify the violation of the dead and alive rights. Revenging the corpses can never be justified by any religion or human logic, it is a distortion for the martyrs sacrifices and heroes who faced terrorism, courageously made a victory.” Shammam holds the armed forces, the security bodies, the civil society, and the political, tribal, and religious leaders responsible for such undeniable violations.

The writer and novelist, Mansour Abushnaf, said that “what culture, values or heritage that rooted such culture? Such flagitious is not new but practiced before inside Libya. Valleys and deserts witnessed our ancestors practicing such barbaric rituals. Colleges and schools saw students of shame missing with their colleagues’ bodies. Cities and streets seen corpses being thrown out in dumpsters paraded in barbaric carnivals”.

The activist, Osama Aljared, wrote on the Facebook page, that “for forces claiming loyalty to the military institution, storm inside graves, and move and parade bodies across streets in a heinous crime, only happens in Dignity Operation controlled territory.”

Some observers compared what happened in Benghazi to similar events unfolded in the city of Sirte following the victory by Al-Bunyan Al-Marsous forces. Some regarded Al-Bunyan Al-Marsous militias affiliated to Al-Qaeda, but the world couldn’t hide its amazement of the military victories it accomplished against Daesh in such short period. Regardless of our position, those forces treated decently with all prisoners, especially women and children, tried to take advantage to uncover real motives why they joined the group, creating a comprehensive database to be used in the future for scholars.

The Novelist, Najwa Ben Shatwan, said that “bodies thrown in the dumpster, decisions by the military ruler that ban women travel, and abusing dead corpses all indicators for the collapse of the confidence in the military institution. Libyans depend on to save the country from militias and Daesh and religious groups. If Haftar didn’t deal with such issues himself, as he does with issues of war, he should get himself prepared for the same fate Gaddafi faced.”

The Journalist, Fathi Ben Essa, said that “abusing the enemy corpses undermines you not them, such acts are against Islam values, if you are a Muslim, if you are a military man, it also violates the military honor. Claiming that they did the same also is not a justification. Even wars have values and rules stated with Islam, in local and international rules for those seeking the state of laws and institutions.”

The Justice and Building Party expressed, in a statement, on Sunday, strong condemnation of the crime in Benghazi. It stated that “such crime contradicts with all religious values, humanitarian rules, international conventions, and values and fundamentals of Libyans.” The party demanded the local and international rights groups to document all violations against human rights, make use of the global movements to pursue war criminals.

It also urged all Libyans to restrain from vengeance acts, violence and hatred speech that affects social peace. It Stressed the need to promote the national and social consensus to avoid bloodshed, end divisions, and get out of the current crisis.