There are “probable mass graves” yet to be investigated, possibly as many as 100, in a town where hundreds of bodies have already been found, a United Nations-appointed mission to Libya has said.
Details on how fighters from the Kaniyat militia executed and imprisoned hundreds of people between 2016 and 2020, sometimes keeping them in tiny oven-like structures called “the boxes”, which were set alight during interrogations, are to be given in the report to be submitted to the UN Human Rights Council this week.
Since Muammar Gaddafi’s removal in 2011, the evidence of kidnappings, murder and torture in Tarhuna, uncovered by the independent fact-finding mission, represents one of the most egregious examples of rights abuses in the turbulent period.
The 51-page report stated that disabled people were among the victims, as well as women and children.
The mission found “reasonable grounds” that the Kaniyat militia committed crimes against humanity, based on the testimonies of residents and two site visits. It identified four commanders who participated directly in them.
247 bodies in mass and individual grave sites have already been recovered by Libyan authorities in the Tarhuna area in western Libya. Many of the victims were still handcuffed and blindfolded.