What Werfalli Did — Haftar’s Commander Continues Executions in Defiance of ICC Arrest Warrant
Warning: this article contains graphic imagery.
While Mahmoud Werfalli is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for the war crime of murder, the commander of the Saiqa Brigade has continued conducting executions in Libya.
This article discusses a series of recent events related to Mr Werfalli:
- On Jan. 24, Mr Werfalli appeared in a video posted on Facebook executing ten blindfolded individuals;
- On Feb. 6, Mr Werfalli announced he would hand himself over to the Libyan National Army’s (LNA) military police;
- On Feb. 8, following demonstrations, Mr Werfalli was reportedly released again.
Mr Werfalli is an commander of the Saiqa Brigade, a unit attached to Mr Haftar’s LNA which controls large swathes of primarily eastern Libya. The LNA rejects the internationally recognised government in Tripoli and instead supports the separatist authorities in eastern Libya. It is widely believed Mr Haftar will run as a candidate in the elections that the United Nations wants to hold at the end of the year.
Following several summary executions of alleged jihadist fighters, the ICC issued an arrest warrant for Werfalli demanding his extradition in August 2017. Bellingcat analysed and geolocated several of the videos presented as evidence by the ICC.
Following the arrest warrant, the LNA claimed that Mr Werfalli was under arrest and being investigated. However, no credible reports have been presented that actually substantiated these claims. In fact, reports emerged that Mr Werfalli was just roaming freely.
On Sep. 7, 2017, for example, reports emerged that five individuals were murdered or assassinated in Ajdabiya, Libya. Activists linked the killing to the arrival of Mr Werfalli to the town. A photo, allegedly of the incident, has been geolocated to the …read more