Amnesty International said on Thursday that execution-style killings carried out by fighters from the “Libyan National Army (LNA)” against captured fighters from the Shura Council of Benghazi Revolutionaries (SCBR) in the Ganfouda may amount to war crimes.
The human rights organization said it had verified two shocking videos showing fatal shooting of defenceless captives by LNA fighters.
Both incidents took place in the Ganfouda area of Benghazi, formerly one of the last strongholds held by the SCBR forces. In recent weeks, the SCBR lost further ground to the LNA and its fighters were pushed into a small enclave of buildings known as Block 12 in the south-western neighbourhood, where clashes between the two sides intensified.
Ganfouda had been under military blockade for months, with LNA forces controlling the roads in and out of the area. Food, water and electricity supplies were also cut off, creating a dire humanitarian situation for families that remained trapped.
“A credible, independent and impartial investigation into these incidents is vital to send a clear message to those who commit or order horrendous crimes that they are not above the law and will not go unpunished.” Heba Morayef, North Africa research director at Amnesty International said.
Amnesty said it also reviewed alarming photos shared by sources close to family members of individuals in Ganfouda showing LNA members posing alongside dead bodies, burning corpses of victims, as well as desecrating the dead body of Jalal al-Makhzoum- a senior SCBR commander.
“International humanitarian law prohibits mutilation of dead bodies and parties to a conflict must also endeavour to return of the deceased upon the request of their families.” It explained.
The so-called Libya National Army, led by General Khalifa Haftar, claimed these killing incidents are isolated and do not represent the army.