Libya: ICC arrest warrant for Special Forces commander raises hopes for justice

Responding to news that the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued a warrant today for the arrest of Mahmoud el-Werfelli, who is accused of war crimes for actions committed while he was Field Commander of the Special Forces Brigade (Al-Saiqa) affiliated to the Libyan National Army (LNA), Amnesty International’s North Africa Research Director Heba Morayef said:

“Today’s decision by the ICC is a significant step towards ending the rampant impunity for war crimes in Libya. Mahmoud al-Werfelli led an army unit that is accused of atrocities, including the extrajudicial executions of unarmed and defenseless captives. 

“The Libyan authorities must urgently comply with this arrest warrant and hand Mahmoud al-Werfelli over to the ICC to face his accusers in a fair trial. This warrant sends a clear message that those who commit or order horrendous crimes are not above the law and will not go unpunished.  

This warrant sends a clear message that those who commit or order horrendous crimes are not above the law and will not go unpunished
Heba Morayef, North Africa research director at Amnesty International

“By failing to hold to account those responsible for crimes committed in Libya in recent years, the Libyan authorities and the international community have emboldened the parties to this conflict to act with complete disregard to human life and international law. We strongly urge the ICC to expand its investigations in Libya and include other crimes being committed every day throughout the country.”

Amnesty International continues to document violations of human rights in Libya and has previously reported on war crimes committed by the LNA.