UN demands eastern forces probe summary executions and suspend Al-Werfalli for his crimes

Mahmoud Al-Werfalli (center) surrounded by fighters from Al-Saiqa force of Operation Dignity. (Photo: Internet)

The United Nations (UN) urged on Tuesday the eastern forces of Operation Dignity led by Khalifa Haftar to investigate summary executions of prisoners, voicing concern about the fate of those still in their custody, Reuters reported.

Operation Dignity leader Haftar has gained ground with Egyptian and Emirati support, and Western states say Haftar must be part of any solution to Libya’s conflict, while Al-Serraj, who is the Prime Minister of the Government of National Accord (GNA) told Sputnik on Monday that it is OK if Haftar wanted to run for president in March 2018, according to his new road map that he announced on Saturday.

“We are deeply concerned 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,” U.N. human rights spokeswoman Liz Throssell told a news briefing, Reuters reported on Tuesday.

Reports have suggested the involvement of Special Forces, a unit aligned with the Operation Dignity, “in torturing detainees and summarily executing at least 10 captured men”, she said.

Last March, Operation Dignity said that it would conduct investigations into alleged war crimes but has not shared any information, Throssell said.

She also urged eastern forces to ensure there is a full, impartial investigation into these allegations.

Throssell also called on the group to suspend Mahmoud al-Werfalli from his duties as a Special Forces field commander pending the conclusion of such an investigation, Reuters reported.

A video circulating on social media in March allegedly showed al-Werfalli shooting dead three men who were kneeling and facing a wall with their hands tied behind their backs, Throssell said.

The video was reported by many local media outlets and newspapers.

In June, two further videos appeared to show summary executions carried out by Haftar forces’ fighters on Al-Werfalli orders.

“One of these videos, which emerged on 9 June, shows four men kneeling with their hands tied behind their backs who are shot dead as al-Werfalli watches,” she said as reported by Reuters.

“The latest video, which was posted on social media this month, seems to shows Haftar-led 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,” she added, according to the report.

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