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General Khalifa Hiftar

Commander of the Libyan National Army

Al-Marj, Libya

Dear General Hiftar:

Human Rights Watch has been tracking violations against civilians in Benghazi since the 2011 uprising.

Our researchers were on the ground to document the situation from the first days of the revolution. We have continued to document violations in Benghazi by all sides since the beginning in May 2014.

Human Rights Watch is writing to you as commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA) to invite your comment on a series of videos and photographs that have appeared on social media since January 2017 that appear to show Major Mahmoud Al-Warfalli, commander of a Special Forces unit under the LNA-linked Army Special Forces, presiding over the execution, or himself carrying out the execution, of captured prisoners.

These videos include the following:

The extrajudicial execution of captured persons, whether combatants or criminal suspects, is a war crime under the Geneva Conventions.

We would be grateful to know if you can confirm Major Warfalli as the person presiding over, or carrying out executions in each of these videos and if so, whether the LNA sanctions these acts. If not, we wish to know if the LNA is taking to hold accountable Major Warfalli and any other person implicated in these killings.

Should you have any questions regarding this matter or to provide responses to our queries, please do not hesitate to contact my colleague, Sarkis Balkhian.

Sincerely yours,

Sarah Leah Whitson, Executive Director, Middle East and North Africa, Human Rights Watch




Major Mahmoud Al-Warfalli, “Thunderbolt” Special Forces Brigade, The Libyan National Army


Brigadier General Wanis Bukhamada, “Thunderbolt” Special Forces Brigade, The Libyan National Army




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