A human rights and political activist has filed a complaint with the International Criminal Court accusing renegade Libyan General Khalifa Haftar of orchestrating war crimes, charges stemming from his war in Benghazi that has left hundreds of people dead.
In his complaint, Emadeddin Muntasser said Khalifa Haftar, the top commander of Dignity Operation, has publically and purposefully violated every element of war crime of denying quarter.
According to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, denial of quarter means refusal to take prisoners and to show no clemency. It also states that the perpetrator was in a position of effective command or control over the subordinate forces to which the declaration or order was directed.
Khalifa Haftar appeared in a video posted on social media networks early this year instructing his forces to show no mercy and kill the prisoners.
“There shall be no mercy in confronting the enemy. There is no such thing as take him prisoner. There is no imprisonment here. This is a battle field”. Haftar ordered his militias during a meeting.
Muntasser said the video is clear evidence against him.
Khalifa Haftar launched his Dignity Operation in Benghazi in May 2014. Later he set up his own armed groups and named them “Libyan National Army”. In July 2017, he declared that the city is totally liberated. During the three-year war, his militia groups committed heinous crimes against their rivals, accusing them of being “terrorists”, a frame-up to incriminate Dignity Operation political foes.
“It is therefore evident that Khalifa Haftar has personally ordered war crimes in a manner that fully conforms to your own Rome Statute and your interpretation of the Denying of Quarter article”. Emadeddin Muntasser said in a follow-up letter to Fatou Bensouda, the ICC chief prosecutor.
“The evidence is overwhelming. The evidence demands action. The evidence demands justice”. He adds.
Meanwhile, Saiqa militia group of Khalifa Haftar’s self-styled army admitted in a video statement posted on Facebook on Friday that they had committed summary executions on orders of “Commander-in-Chief of the Libyan National Army, Marshal Khalifa Haftar”.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued on Tuesday an arrest warrant for the notorious senior commander of Saiqa militia, Mahmoud Al-Werfalli, a close ally of Khalifa Haftar, over war crimes he committed in and around Benghazi.