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Libya: UN experts condemns execution and disappearance of former minister and companions

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Press release

Geneva – May 9, 2024


United Nations human rights experts have expressed grave concerns over reports of the execution of Mr. Al Mahdi Ibrahim Abdulhamid Al Barghathi, a former Defense Minister in Libya’s Government of National Accord, and the forced disappearance of seven other individuals allegedly detained by groups affiliated with the Libyan National Army’s General Command.

According to a UN memorandum sent to Libyan authorities, Mr. Al Barghathi was arrested along with his companions on October 6, 2023, in Benghazi by members

of the “Tariq bin Ziyad Brigade,” reportedly linked to the LNA General Command led by Khalifa Haftar.

The experts noted that the individuals detained alongside Mr. Al Barghathi include Abdulaziz Alhasouni Mohammed Imbarak, Ali Mohamed Ali Bukhatwa, Fathi Fouzi Alhasouni Mohammed, Mohammed Faraj Milad Al Baraki, Serag Soliman Saleh Soliman, Younus Salim Younus Abdulaziz, and Sanid Sulayman Salih Sulayma. Their fate and whereabouts remain unknown, raising credible concerns of potential execution.

Mr. Al Barghathi, a former LNA officer who served under the GNA led by Fayez Al Sarraj, was reportedly executed after his detention in Benghazi’s Al-Salmani Al-Sharqi neighborhood. Militias affiliated with the Tariq bin Ziyad Brigade, led by Saddam Haftar, reportedly participated in this operation.

Before becoming Defense Minister, Mr. Al Barghathi was a prominent figure in Benghazi and openly opposed General Khalifa Haftar’s actions. Despite assurances from Libyan tribes and facilitated discussions by Haftar, Mr. Al Barghathi was captured upon his return to Benghazi.

The experts expressed serious concern over the extrajudicial execution of Mr. Al Barghathi and the forced disappearance of the seven others, which may constitute serious violations of international human rights law.

The experts emphasized the urgent need for a comprehensive and transparent investigation in accordance with international standards, including efforts to locate Mr. Al Barghathi’s remains. They called on Libyan authorities to provide information on efforts to locate the disappeared individuals, clarify the circumstances surrounding Mr. Al Barghathi’s death, and ensure accountability for those responsible.

These actions are necessary to uphold human rights principles and prevent further violations.

The experts highlighted the importance of protecting the rights of all individuals involved and seeking justice for potential human rights violations in Libya. They urged prompt and effective action to address these alarming developments.

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