By Libya Herald reporters.
Tunis, 29 October 2017:
The killing of the 36 men whose bodies were found dumped beside a road near Al-Abyar was a terrorist act and the killers should be found and punished the Government of National Accord’s (GNA) justice ministry said today.
All extrajudicial killings were a form of terrorism said the ministry on its social media page. Such crimes hindered the chances of the establishment in Libya of the rule of, justice and human rights.
It sent its condolences to the families of the murdered men and called on the public prosecutor’s office to investigate the crimes. However, given that the writ of the Tripoli-based prosecutor Sadiq Al-Sour hardly runs beyond the limits of the capital, at the moment the best he can do is to open a file on the cases.
UNSMIL said today that it “condemned in the strongest terms the heinous crime resulting in the killing of at lest 36 whose bodies were found in the Al-Abyar area”. It called for an immediate investigation to bring the perpetrators to justice.
The Libyan National Army (LNA) has meanwhile vowed that it is investigating the murders, just it has said that it is also probing the 33 killings shown in seven separate videos in which a man resembling Saiqa Special Forces major Mahmoud Warfali features prominently.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued a warrant for the arrest and extradition of Warfali but the LNA said that a fortnight earlier armed forces commander-in-chief Khalifa Hafter had ordered the officer’s arrest and an investigation into the filmed murders..
There have been unconfirmed reports that Warfali has since been involved in killings in Ajdabiya and Benghazi’s Gwarsha district.
Since the ICC warrant for Warfali, the LNA has banned military units from posting information on social media sites without first clearing it with the LNA. Nevertheless, a jerky video has been broadcast by Libya TV which the channel says shows the cursing and striking some of the bodies from the Al-Abyar massacre, seemingly by the person with the camera.
Three corpses are shown in the clip, lying on hospital trollies. There is the sound of what may be blows but no actual footage of the assaults. In addition the Al-Abyar bodies were reported to have been shot in the head and showed signs of torture. The one clearly distinguishable corpse in the clip which was half-naked, showed no obvious signs of a head wound nor trauma to the body.