TRIPOLI: A Libyan military court on Wednesday ordered the execution of five army officers, who were being tried in absentia, on charges of indiscriminate shelling of civilians and of rape during the 2011 conflict.
The court in the eastern city of Benghazi also handed down 10-year prison terms to three soldiers charged with rape, who were present at the hearing, the official LANA news agency reported.
Col. Gaith Isbaa, Col. Saad Abdel Rahman, Lt. Col. Altaher Mohammed, Captain Khaled Al-Akremi and First Lt. Mohammed Mohammed were condemned to death by firing squad.
This is the first time a court has issues the death penalty since the NATO-backed rebel uprising that toppled veteran dictator Muammar Qaddafi.
Rights organizations maintain that Libya’s justice system is in urgent need of reform, with thousands of detainees held without process. Only a handful of Qaddafi-era officials are currently being tried in civilian courts.