The International Criminal Court (ICC) has, for the first time, issued an arrest warrant based solely on social-media-sourced evidence in a case involving a Libyan military commander.
The warrant, issued on the 15 August, accuses Mahmoud al-Werfalli of mass executions and summary killings. Werfalli served in the Al-Saiqa Brigade, an elite force of military strongman Khalifa Haftar’s so-called Libyan National Army (LNA).
Werfalli has been accused by the ICC of directing or participating in a series of executions of 33 prisoners between June 2016 and July 2017 in Benghazi and the surrounding areas.
The charge, murder as a war crime under Article 8(2)(c)(i) of the Rome Statute, is based on seven separate incidents of execution which were documented in seven separate pieces of video footage.
Each piece of footage was widely shared on social media.
For Christiaan Triebert, researcher at the open-source investigations site Bellingcat, the step is a “very significant development”.
“It aligns the ICC with the realities of many of today’s conflict zones,” Triebert told MEE.
Footage of atrocities is often taken by witnesses, but can also be documented by the perpetrators themselves, in order to later share as propaganda.
Read the whole story from Middle East Eye.
Featured image courtesy of LNA propaganda video