NEW YORK, 9 January 2021 – Human Rights Watch (HRW) has urged Libya’s UN-backed government to probe reports of atrocity crimes committed in Tarhuna city by Kaniyat militia.
The militia engaged in kidnappings, detention, torture, murder, extrajudicial killings and other atrocity crimes, according to numerous credible reports.
HRW says hundreds of Tarhuna residents were kinapped or reported missing between 2014 and 2020.
The General Commission for Search and Identification of Missing Persons (PAMRI) set up by Libya’s Government of National Accord has said at least 338 residents of Tarhuna went missing between 2015 and 2019.
The timeline corresponds to the period when the city was ruled by the local Alkani militia known as the Kaniyat.
Libyan officials say they have discovered 27 mass graves in Tarhuna since they launched an investigation last June.
The bodies exhumed from the mass graves have not yet been identified.
Libya’s Government of National Accord should take appropriate measures to identify the bodies and bring those responsible for the violence to justice, said Hanan Saleh, a researcher at Human Rights Watch.