"I have never seen such crimes throughout the wars in the world," said the International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor, Karim Khan, on Monday during his visit to Tarhuna, where he met families of those killed or went missing in the 2019-2020 offensive on Tripoli, according to Al-Ahrar TV channel.
Mayor of Tarhuna, Mohammed Al-Kasher, who accompanied the ICC official to the mass graves in the city, told the local channel that prosecutor Khan lauded the patience of the victim families who chose to restitute their rights via legal channels and not through revenge as he put it.
The city, located some 65 km southeast of Tripoli, was Khalifa Haftar’s last stronghold in western Libya during his assault on the region before his attack collapsed 14 months later.
Upon its liberation in May 2022, horror stories began to unfold, as residents recounted scores of disappearances, murders, human rights abuses, mass graves, and detention facilities with evidence of torture at the hands of the Kaniyat militia that took sides with Haftar, in his war to seize the capital and rule the country.
Many of the corpses discovered in the mass graves have shown evidence of torture, while some have been burnt and others buried alive, including women and children.
The General Authority for Searching and Identifying the Missing said that it referred all the information about the mass graves sites to the ICC prosecutor.
Lutfi Al-Misrati, director of the excavation department, accompanied Khan to the grave sites and provided a thorough explanation of the mechanism followed by the field teams.
For his part, Khan praised the efforts and progress made by the commission and vowed to cooperate and support the Libyan Public Prosecutor to bring justice for all these crimes.