Amnesty International says the assassinations in eastern Libya were politically motivated, with the aim of punishing dissidents.
At least 22 people have been sentenced to death by war courts in eastern Libya since 2018, in what Amnesty International described as “shameful, torture” cases aimed at preventing tensions in the war-torn country.
The International Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on Monday said the military courts had “convicted hundreds of civilians in eastern Libya on charges of secrecy and injustice”.
The case was “aimed at punishing actual or perceived detractors” of troops loyal to the northeastern military chief Khalifa Haftar.
Those found guilty include journalists, peace activists and people who criticized Haftar’s media on television.
Libya’s oil-rich country has been embroiled in controversy since the defeat and assassination of former dictator Muammar Gaddafi in a NATO-backed threat a decade ago.
The country was divided between two warring factions: the UN-based government in Tripoli, and its eastern ally, Haftar.
The war ended last summer, and a peaceful ban in October was followed by the formation of a new coalition government ahead of elections scheduled for December.
Amnesty said former inmates had been asked to “detail the list of atrocities”, including “detention and detention for three years” before prosecuting them.
Some say they have “spent 20 months in jail” and that they have been “beaten, threatened and detained”, and “forced to sign ‘confessions’ for crimes they did not commit,” according to the rights group.
Amnesty’s Diana Eltahawy said the military tests were used by eastern groups as a way to punish dissidents and create a “climate of fear”.
Cases sometimes took place without lawyers or even accusers present, “disrupting any form of justice”, Eltahawy said.
“The use of military tests by civilians is a clear signal of the LAAF [Libyan Arab Armed Forces] and armed groups are using their power to punish those who oppose them and to intimidate them, ”said Eltahawy.
It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post, but Amnesty says Libyan militants have reported 31 killings between 2018 and 2020.
The new government “should immediately stop the prosecution of civilians, and order them to investigate cases and other crimes in accordance with international military law,” Amnesty said.