Over 40 days on, the offensive on Tripoli has resulted in unlawful attacks that could amount to war crimes that must be investigated by international prosecutors, Amnesty International said Thursday.
The organization said it collected evidence of indiscriminate attacks on civilian areas in the Libyan capital.
Amnesty gathered witness testimony and analyzed satellite imagery, which indicates that densely populated residential areas in the Abu Salim district of Tripoli were indiscriminately attacked with rockets during intense fighting on April 15-17.
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have raised concerns that, since the outbreak of the violence, migrants and refugees may have been forced to participate in military-related activities.
“We will not tolerate the prosecution of individuals accused of war crimes because of the clashes in the capital Tripoli,” said the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda.
“As the battle for Tripoli unfolds, the warring parties have displayed a shameful disregard for civilian safety and international humanitarian law by carrying out indiscriminate attacks on residential neighborhoods,” he added.
Moreover, Deputy Middle East and North Africa Director at Amnesty International, Magdalena Mughrabi, said: “Such reckless attacks could have devastating consequences for civilians and strengthen the need for the International Criminal Court to expand its investigations into possible war crimes by all sides in Libya’s conflict.”
Since the advance on Tripoli by the Libyan National Army on April 4, more than 454 people have been killed and 2,154 injured, according to the World Health Organization.