In a statement on his personal social media account, Libyan Jurist and former Minister of Justice Salah Marghani condemned the actions of forces loyal to the Government of National Accord (GNA) in recent days.
“Consistent and credible reports tell about atrocities being committed by Sarraj loyal militias against civilians who showed support or acceptance of LNA in Western Coastal areas of Libya.”
Following a successful military operation that led the GNA to the recapture key towns on the western coastal road from the Libyan National Army (LNA), a number of reports of human rights violations have emerged.
Accounts of arbitrary arrests, looting, and destruction of private and public property surfaced as images of homes being burnt and civilians being abused circulated on social media.
Mr. Marghani is the first prominent human rights activist to address the crimes that have been committed in recent days.
Such acts of retribution after capturing new territory is not new to Libya. The most recent case came after the GNA captured Gharyan in August 2019, when summary executions of wounded and captured LNA soldiers took place in Gharyan Central Hospital.
The Libyan Organization for Human Rights (LOHR) stated at the time that what took place in the hospital was a terrorist act and a war crime, holding forces led by Usama al-Juwaili, Commander of the GNA coalition responsible.
The Ministry of Education of the eastern-based Interim Government issued a statement condemning the “chaos” and “criminal acts” that GNA forces are carrying out in Surman, Sibratha, Ajailat, Joel and Rigdalin.
The Ministry’s statement also condemned the killing of Surman’s Education Superintendent, Mohamed Abas, at the hands of “militias”.
UNSMIL expresses its “great concern” over “attacks on civilians, the Surman Prison break and release of 401 prisoners without adequate legal proceedings or vetting, desecration of corpses, retribution, including looting, robberies and torching of public and private properties” by GNA forces, adding, if verified, would amount to grave human rights violations.
UNSMIL notes with grave concern reports of, retribution, including looting, robberies and torching of public and private properties, in western coastal towns recently seized by the Government of National Accord (GNA) forces. UNSMIL is following up the above allegations, which if verified, would constitute grave violations of international human rights and humanitarian law.