A Year Today. The “Gharyan Hospital” Massacre

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A year ago, the Libyan city of Gharyan witnessed a terrible massacre carried out by armed forces aligned with the Government of National Accord (GNA) against injured soldiers from the Libyan National Army who were receiving treatment inside the city’s hospital.

The act resulted in the extrajudicial killing of 63 Libyan soldiers, 36 of whom have not been identified because of the severity of their wounds. This occurred two days after GNA forces took control of the city.

However, the matter was revealed after the funeral of an LNA soldier Saleh Al-Zoghbali in Benghazi. Footage of him was published on Facebook in which he appeared in the Gharyan hospital, injured and speaking consciously before being killed by militiamen.

Further evidence of the accident was discovered after confirmation of the killing of an LNA officer who was from the city of Kufra and who was among the wounded in the hospital.

The GNA Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha praised the entry of GNA forces into Gharyan and described what the commander of the Western Military Region, Osama Juwaili, had done as “excellent”.

At the same time, the GNA’s field commander Khaled Al-Tabib said on his Facebook page that they do not need to justify any act or crime that had been committed. He wrote: “If they had left it to me, I would have killed all the wounded in Gharyan. It does not mean that they were injured because they were on the fronts.”

Other official indications revealed that GNA’s forces were involved in the massacre as the Judicial Experience Centre in Libya reported last July that Libyan soldiers were shot in a hospital and others were wounded by gunfire from close range, which means that they were subjected to a field execution. Such allegations were later denied by GNA.

Moreover, Al-Sarraj and Bashagha covered up the criminals who carried out the massacre since they were part of the Benghazi Revolutionaries Shura Council, sources said.

A few days after the massacre the United Nations Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) said

it was monitoring reports of extrajudicial killings in Gharyan.

“The mission is following with great interest reports of allegations of extrajudicial killings in various locations, including recent events in Gharyan, and other similar incidents that took place in the outskirts of Tripoli,” UNSMIL said in a statement on Twitter.

The mission stressed “its commitment to monitor and document all serious violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law and to report to the relevant bodies in the United Nations and international community to prosecute the perpetrators, and has sent direct commissions on the ground to various places where these violations have occurred,” UNSMIL explained.

A year on and those who committed the massacre have yet to be held responsible.