LIBYAPROSPECT – The Hague
The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued, on Tuesday, an arrest warrant against the Libyan army officer affiliated with the Commandos Forces in Benghazi, Mahmud Al-Werfalli, because of his war crimes.
Al-Werfalli killed tens of prisoners without trial in Benghazi. He is led by the commander of Commandos Forces, Wanis Bu-Khamada, affiliated with the Dignity Operation under the leadership of General Khalifa Haftar.
The ICC decision accused Al-Werfalli of executing more than 30 prisoners between June 2016 and July 2017 in Benghazi.
The social media had published videos showing Al-Werfalli three captives on 15/July/2016, and then one Algerian prisoner last May in Benghazi.
Al-Werfalli appeared again last July executing 20 captive prisoners wearing the orange colored execution clothes, the same as the ones that used by Daesh when killed the Egyptian Christians in Sirte two years ago.
Lawyer observers said that Al-Werfalli is wanted by the Libyan and international laws, he is also wanted by some of the families of the executed persons.
The observers added that Haftar has no legal justification to defend Al-Werfalli, stressing that it is not accepted by the laws that Haftar and Al-Werfalli fight against terrorism because fighting terrorism doesn’t mean executing prisoners without courts.
The observers stated that it is known to everybody that Haftar and Al-Werfalli helped the remnants of Daesh to escape from Benghazi and Derna to join their terrorist groups in other areas in Libya.
Other observers said that it is not sure that Haftar would hand Al-Werfalli to the ICC because he is considered as a hero of the Dignity Operation who kills the enemies.
It is essential mentioning that the United Nations called, last month, Haftar’s forces to start investigations on the executions without court.
The phenomenon of kidnapping and enforced disappearance, as well as tens of secret prisons, had spread out in Benghazi on the hands of some leaders of the forces of Haftar. Benghazi experienced even horror operation of killing abductees with their bodies dumped in the rubbish areas.
The UN Human Rights spokesperson, Liz Throssell, said, last month, that “we are deeply concerned that, after recent fighting in Benghazi, people taken prisoner by members of the Libyan National Army, which controls eastern Libya, may be at imminent risk of torture and even summary execution.”
She added that reports talked about the involvement of Special Forces that affiliated with Haftar’s forces “in torturing detainees and summarily executing at least ten captured men.”
Throssell urged Haftar’s forces to ensure that “there is a full, impartial investigation into these allegations.”
She also called for suspending the officer, Mahmud al-Werfalli, who had appeared in videos killing detainees, from his duties as a field commander and bring him to the needed investigations.
Throssell talked about videos emerged on 9 June, which “showed four men kneeling with their hands tied behind their backs who are shot dead as al-Werfalli watches.”
She also talked about another video that was posted on social media, seems to show LNA fighters kicking and taunting prisoners, while al-Werfalli is apparently heard accusing two men who have their hands tied behind their backs of belonging to terrorist groups.”
Throssell expressed her deep concerns that “after recent fighting in Benghazi, people taken prisoner by members of the Libyan National Army, which effectively controls eastern Libya, may be at imminent risk of torture and even summary execution.”
Haftar’s headquarter responded to that call by saying that the issue doesn’t matter, considering that its fighters are innocent and that the UN’s report is just an attempt to make a problem from nothing.