European law office files report of war crimes commited by Haftar's militias at ICC

13 November 2017 - 18:50

Commander of Dignity Operation militias Khalifa Haftar - Internet

13 November 2017 - 18:50

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Guernica 37 IJC has filed an investigative report with the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court by Guernica 37 IJC and its international partners, concerning allegations of War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity committed by forces under the command of Field Marshal Khalifa Belqasim Haftar (Haftar) of Libya.

Allegations include, but are not limited to, offences of Murder, Torture or Inhuman Treatment, Wilfully Causing Suffering, Extensive Destruction and Appropriation of Property, and Persecution. Those responsible, including Field Marshal Haftar, must be brought to justice and held accountable; impunity cannot be allowed to prosper.

There are credible reports, underpinned by first-hand evidence that individuals within the chain of command have, and continue to commit War Crimes and/or Crimes Against Humanity in their pursuit of power.

Hundreds, if not thousands of civilians have been murdered, tortured, and been forced out of their homes.

Witnesses recount how their properties have been the subject of indiscriminate attacks by armed groups, including air attacks; how they have been deliberately targeted and individuals murdered by armed groups, simply for trying to leave the area and get to safety.

Further witnesses describe how having been attacked and watched family members murdered, they have been imprisoned, taken to places of detention, and tortured, resulting in life changing injuries.

All of these attacks are alleged to have been committed by forces under, and/or loyal to Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar; a position that appears to be supported by video footage of individuals circulated on various social media outlets.

Further, video footage corroborates public statements by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar and those forces loyal, confirming the operational plan to place strategic areas of Benghazi under siege, to starve its inhabitants, to indiscriminately bombard civilian neighbourhoods, arbitrarily arrest, detain, torture and execute non- combatants.

The pursuit of peace in any country, including Libya, is essential, and must be pursued with all vigour; however, this aim must not be pursued at the expense of innocent people, nor can a situation be allowed to arise where individuals become immune from prosecution and a process of accountability.

Haftar may be seen by some in the international community as being pivotal in bringing about peace to Libya, however, it is critical to note that a degree of the ongoing conflict has been directly caused by the actions of Haftar’s forces, and the unrest already present, exacerbated.

It is also important to note that Haftar has thus far refused to cooperate with the ICC in the ongoing investigation into Mahmoud Mustafa Busayf Al-Werfalli who is allegedly responsible for murder as a war crime in the context of the non-international armed conflict in Libya.

Guernica 37 said it has filed a detailed confidential investigation report with the ICC Office of the Prosecutor, and will continue to investigate those allegations of offences committed in Benghazi and the wider area under the command of Field Marshal Khalifa Belqasim Haftar. Where there is credible evidence, this will be forwarded to the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court with a view to those responsible being brought to justice.

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