Although two years have passed since Haftar began his aggression against Tripoli, and ten months after he was defeated, the field teams of the Search and Identification of Missing Persons Authority are still recovering victims from the mass graves in Tarhuna.
The recovery is continuing
Director of the Search for Remains Department at the General Authority for Search and Identification of the Missing Lotfi Al-Misrati says: The recovery of victims and remains from the mass graves in Tarhuna is still ongoing.
Al-Misrati added in a statement to Arraed that the teams are dealing with 25 mass graves and 21 individual graves in Alrabit project located south of the city of Tarhuna.
Al-Misrati explained that the number of bodies recovered by the authority’s teams from the 46 graves reached 141 bodies, indicating that their team handled only 9 reports out of 17 reports, and that it is difficult to set a deadline for the end of the detection of all mass graves in the city.
One Known and two unknown
While the family of Asmar Al-Saadi from the Sidi Essid area in Tarhuna recognized the body of their son, “Mahmoud” – 40 years old – the fate of her two sons, Jaber – 50 years old – and “Abdul Azim” – 36 years old, is still unknown after the Al Kani gangs kidnapped them on the thirteenth of September 2019.
“Mohammed Al-Asmar Al-Saadi” – (30 years old) – told Arraed: The kidnapping of his two brothers, whose fate is still unknown, was part of a revenge operation carried out by Al-Kani gangs on the day of the killing of their brother “Mohsen”.
He continues that the identification of his brother’s body was made through his clothes in which he was kidnapped in, and the features of his face, after the identification of the body of one of the young men who were kidnapped with him on the same day.
Our interlocutor excludes that his two brothers are still alive, adding that they are in a mass grave that has not yet been identified, calling on the state to move and arrest the Kani gangs fleeing to Benghazi. To get their punishment, and be an example to others.
A member of the Tarhuna Victims Association “Abdul-Moneim Al-Hamel” agrees with his previous statement that there are mass graves that have not been identified so far, explaining that between 40 and 70 of Tarhuna’s sons who were detained in the Judiciary Prison were collectively killed on the night of Mohsen al-Kani’s death.
He explained to Arraed that the reason is the absence of the state’s seriousness in arresting Al-Kani gangs and those who were involved with them in giving orders to individual for collective executions, to know the fate of the missing, and the locations of individual and mass graves.
He added, in a tone of despair, “the families of the missing have lost hope from promises to find their relatives,” explaining that their association had collected data on 350 missing persons, 200 of whom were forcibly disappeared and 205 were executed outside the law, he said.
The chairman of Nidaa organization for Human Rights, Musa Al-Qunaidi, describes the file of mass graves in Tarhuna as an unprecedented and complicated” , adding that by following up on what the Missing Persons Commission is doing to exhume bodies from mass graves, it turns out that there is a systematic policy planned at the highest level.
He explained to Arraed that following this policy was aimed at eliminating any opponents, and trying to inflict terror and spread fear and panic in the hearts of all those who think about breaking out against the groups that control the city and commit atrocities in it in full view of everyone.
Al-Qunaidi asserted that the person responsible for these violations is not one party, but rather several parties, including responsible bodies in the Libyan state – he refused to mention them, expecting that work will continue on the file of mass graves in Tarhouna for years.