TRIPOLI // Twelve Libyan officials from the Qaddafi regime have been killed a day after their release from prison.
The 12 were convicted of taking part in acts of oppression during the 2011 revolt against Muammar Qaddafi. On Thursday, a Tripoli court ordered they be released on condition that they report to the prosecutor every two weeks. But a day later, on Friday, their bullet-riddled bullets were found in the capital. The murders were announced on the prosecutor’s Facebook page on Sunday. Seddiq es-Sour, of the prosecutor’s office, told Libyan television the bodies were found in various parts of the capital and confirmed that all were former prisoners.
The men’s identities have not been released but all were arrested between 2011 and 2014 and had been jailed on charges of committing abuses during the uprising which ousted and killed Qaddafi.
The UN special envoy to Libya Martin Kobler condemned the murders and called for a prompt and “transparent” investigation, saying he was “shocked and dismayed by the reports of murder of so many detainees released by a Tripoli court”.
The UN-backed unity government, the Government of National Accord, also denounced what it called a “despicable crime”.
Earlier this month, the prosecutor’s office said the Libyan supreme court had ordered the release of six Qaddafi regime officials pending an appeal, for reasons linked to their health and age.
Dozens of people are on trial in Libya for their role in the violent suppression of the revolt, including two of Qaddafi’s sons. His heir apparent, Seif al-Islam was sentenced to death in July 2015.
Forces allied with Libya’s unity government were engaged in battle on Sunday in Sirte, the coastal city which ISIL captured last year and turned into its main base in North Africa. The government forces entered Sirte on Wednesday and made speedy advances but met with fierce resistance from the extremists, including three cattacks by suicide car bombers.
* Agence France-Presse