Libyan Organization for Human Rights Condemns Summary Executions at Gharyan Hospital – Al Marsad

The Libyan Organization for Human Rights (LOHR) condemned the appalling violations of human rights and international humanitarian law that were committed in Gharyan by the forces of the Presidential Council of the Government of National Accord (GNA) led by General Usama Juwaili and his militias immediately after GNA troops took control of the city. This article contains graphic content.

[Libya, 2 June 2019] – The Libyan Organization for Human Rights (LOHR) confirmed in a statement on Friday that the forces of Usama al-Juwaili had executed all the wounded who were receiving treatment at the Gharyan Central Hospital. The LOHR stated that what took place was a terrorist act and a war crime.

The LOHR indicated that it communicated with the hospital administration and confirmed that summary executions of war prisoners did take place but was not sure about the exact number of those killed amid conflicting reports. The LOHR said:

“The organization considers this as a war crime and a crime against humanity, a blatant violation of the Geneva Convention of 1949 on the protection of civilians and persons taking no active part in hostilities, including members of the armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat by sickness. This criminal act is a gross violation to the teachings of all religions, particularly our religion, Islam.”

Extrajudicial Killings Committed by GNA Militias

The LOHR also revealed in its statement that these groups committed extrajudicial killings, torture and ill-treatment of all those arrested at other sites in the city of Gharyan as well as the hospital.

The LOHR  called on the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) and what it called “countries fuelling the armed conflict in Libya” to shoulder their responsibilities with regard to the events at the Gharyan hospital and to protect the rest of the civilian population from reprisals by GNA militias.

The Attorney-General and the Military Prosecutor also demanded the opening of investigation into the massacre of Gharyan University Hospital and the prosecution of perpetrators of such crimes.

Video Footage Shows Prisoners Alive at the Hospital

In the same context, Al Marsad viewed horrifying footage from inside the Gharyan University Hospital of the first few minutes following the summary executions. Some of the images showed dead bodies, including hospital guards from the Central Security Apparatus (CSA), critically wounded Libyan National Army (LNA) soldiers on respirators and other medical equipment, shot dead.

Al Marsad posted footage taken at Gharyan Hospital which showed horrific injuries and mistreatment of the prisoners by the GNA militias.

 

Video footage was also posted by Al Marsad of the wounded LNA soldier Saleh Ibrahim bin Ali al-Khazali lying injured at the Gharyan Hospital. Al-Khazali was later killed in cold blood by the GNA militias.

His body was sent to the Red Crescent in Zintan and was buried in his hometown of Bayda.

GNA’s Interior Minister, Fathi Bashagha had issued a letter of praise to Usama Juwaili for retaking Gharyan. Bashagha has denied all knowledge of the massacre and

GNA Minister of Interior Fathi Bashagha’s letter of praise to Usama Juwaili

Possible Involvement of GNA-Affiliated Benghazi Revolutionary Shura Council

Footage was posted on social media few days ago by elements calling themselves the Benghazi Revolutionary Shura Council (BRSC), speaking of revenging their comrades who were killed by the Libyan National Army (LNA) in previous years because of their alliance with ISIS.

The possible involvement of the Qatari-sponsored Islamist BRSC currently under the GNA, together with the use by the GNA of Turkish killer drones and military expertise, call for a full investigation by the international community into the nature of collaboration in the massacre at Gharyan between Islamist radical forces of the GNA and their Turkish and Qatari backers.

This is not the first time that charges of human rights abuses have been brought against Usama Juwaili. Another previous case history of violations was recorded in Warshifana. Atrocities were witnessed too in Mizda and al-Shigigah at the hands of his GNA forces. Further atrocities were also committed in Bani Walid in the wake of the infamous Law No. 7, and which were attributed to the forces that were under his responsibility as Chief of Staff when he was Minister of Defence in the government of Abdurrahim El-Keib.

 

Further Reading on the Gharyan Massacre by the GNA militias:

War Crimes in Gharyan: Forensics Confirm Executions by GNA Militias at Gharyan Hospital

Bayraktar Killer Drones Run by Turkish Military Experts in Tripoli – EXCLUSIVE AL MARSAD REPORT