Libya: Special Forces commander apparently filmed committing extrajudicial executions must be handed over to the ICC
Responding to reports that yesterday Mahmoud al-Werfalli, former Field Commander of the Special Forces Brigade (Al-Saiqa) affiliated to the Libyan National Army (LNA) and a war crimes suspect wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC), extrajudicially executed 10 people in Benghazi, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Director, Heba Morayef, said:
“The video currently circulating on social media appears to be a demonstration of the horrifying consequences of the rampant impunity that exists in Libya. As long as indicted war crimes suspects feel they can carry on committing grave violations without facing justice, the prospects for establishing rule of law in Libya will remain grim.”
“The onus is now on the General Commander of the Libyan National Army, Khalifa Hafter and the Libyan authorities to ensure that Mahmoud al-Werfalli is handed to the ICC, making it clear that those who commit war crimes and other serious violations will be brought to justice.”
On 25 January footage emerged on social media appearing to show Mahmoud al-Werfalli extrajudicially executing 10 people. The footage shows al-Werfalli standing in front of 10 men who are wearing blue jumpsuits and blindfolds, lined up on their knees with their hands tied behind their backs.
Al-Werfalli is then shown shooting a single bullet to the head of each man, after which he continues shooting at the dead bodies. The footage appears to have been taken on 24 January in Benghazi, in front of Baiha Radwan Mosque. This location was the sight of two car bombings two hours earlier that, according to local media, claimed 34 lives and wounded 71.
Mahmoud al-Werfalli is wanted by the ICC for war crimes. An arrest warrant was issued for him by the ICC in August 2017.