ICC issues arrest warrant of eastern notorious commander

ICC issues arrest warrant of eastern notorious commander

August 15, 2017 - 20:27
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Written by: AbdulkaderAssad

"This warrant sends a clear message that those who commit or order horrendous crimes are not above the law and will not go unpunished." Amnesty International’s North Africa Research Director, Heba Morayef, said. 

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued an arrest warrant of the notorious senior commander of Al-Saiqa Force of Dignity Operation, Mahmoud Al-Werfalli, over war crimes he committed in and around Benghazi.

The arrest warrant that was issued by the Hague-based tribunal on Tuesday, said "Al-Werfalli is allegedly responsible for murder as a war crime in the context of the non-international armed conflict in Libya."

The ICC clarified that Al-Werfalli has been accused of personally shooting or ordering the execution of people who were either civilians or injured fighters in at least seven incidents in 2016 and 2017.

"He is responsible for the killing of 33 persons in seven incidents at least." The ICC explained.

The ICC's chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda called on Libyan authorities to arrest and hand over Al-Werfalli to ensure his surrender to the ICC without delay.

Al-Werfalli is known to be a blood-thirsty militiaman loyal to the commander of the self-styled Libyan National Army, Khalifa Haftar.

Al-Werfalli has been accustomed to mass murdering captives and prisoners, for which he was condemned several times by many local and interantional organizations. 

Meanwhile, Amnesty International seconded the move of the ICC.

"“Today’s decision by the ICC is a significant step towards ending the rampant impunity for war crimes in Libya. Mahmoud Al-Werfalli led an army unit that is accused of atrocities, including the extrajudicial executions of unarmed and defenseless captives." Amnesty International’s North Africa Research Director, Heba Morayef, commented on the official website.

She also indicated that Libyan authorities must urgently comply with the ICC's arrest warrant and hand Al-Werfalli over to face his accusers in a fair trial.

"This warrant sends a clear message that those who commit or order horrendous crimes are not above the law and will not go unpunished." She remarked.

The ICC opened its probe into Libya in March 2011 to investigate atrocities committed during the 17 February revolution against Gaddafi. The investigation comes after the UN Security Council referred the matter to the ICC.