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International Criminal Court Seeks Arrest Warrants Against Members of Gaddafi Regime

International Criminal Court Seeks Arrest Warrants Against Members of Gaddafi Regime

The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) said today he is seeking arrest warrants against three members of the Gaddafi regime for crimes against humanity.

Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo told the United Nations Security Council he has “reasonable grounds to believe that crimes against humanity have been committed and continue being committed in Libya.” 

According to Ocampo’s findings, the crimes include shooting at peaceful protesters, shooting at unarmed civilians, rape, torture, the use of civilians as human shields, blocking of humanitarian supplies, and forced disappearances. 

“The persecution appears to be also systematic and implemented in different cities. War crimes are apparently committed as a matter of policy.” Ocampo said in his report.

“It is indeed a characteristic of the situation in Libya that massive crimes are reportedly committed upon instruction of a few persons who control the organizations that execute the orders,” the report also said. “Arresting those who ordered the commission of crimes, should the Judges decide to issue warrants, will contribute to the protection of civilians in Libya.”

Ocampo’s preliminary report comes two months after the Council voted unanimously to refer the Libyan crisis to the ICC. 

Ocampo says he will not reveal the identities of the “three individuals who appear to bear the greatest criminal responsibility for crimes against humanity” until he presents the case to the court’s pre-trial chamber in the coming weeks. However, Al Arabiya News claimed the warrants “likely” include Gaddafi himself, as well as his son Saif al-Islam.

It remains unclear whether or not Ocampo plans to file charges against any of the rebel leaders although the report did mention “alleged war crimes as well as other crimes against humanity” appear to have been committed by “different parties.” Ocampo told CNN that when he opened the ICC investigation two months ago he warned the rebels were equally subject to international law.

The Guardian pointed out that Western diplomats say the move is intended to further increase international pressure on Tripoli, and indeed as the Wall Street Journal reported, U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice

seized on Mr. Ocampo’s recommendation to press those close to Col. Gadhafi to turn against the Libyan leader, as U.S. officials have urged many times in recent months.

“The specter of ICC prosecution is serious and imminent and should again warn those around Ghadafi about the perils of continuing to tie their fate to his,” Rice said.

As the Guardian noted:

The investigation is highly significant politically as Nato went to war in Libya on “humanitarian grounds” on the strength of security council resolution 1970 authorising “all necessary measures” to protect civilians. If the court approves the arrest warrants it will help insulate the alliance against international criticism of his prolonged campaign in Libya.

To read more about the conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa click here.

 

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Phot courtesy of BRQ via Flickr

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11 comments

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12:17PM PDT on May 13, 2011

Don't forget to add Bush and his 'mob' of criminals while they're at it.....

9:04AM PDT on May 6, 2011

I hope that the United States will support any action by the International Criminal Court. Despite the fact that this court derives directly from American legal initiatives which led to the Nuremberg Trials, the United States has stated that if an American were ever put on trial by this court, American armed forces would intervene militarily to rescue him. I herewith state publically that I support the rule of law, including international law based upon the Bill of Rights and entered into the Federal Register, and that if American ever tries this, I hope they suffer heavy losses at the hands of our own NATO allies. The US Constitution and particularly the Bill of Rights gained respect for America abroad which an infantile rejection of human rights based on international law has erased. When I was studying in Germany, I got tired of hearing Germans reject Nuremberg as Siegerjustiz-victors' justice. But unfortunately when the United States threatens military intervention if an American is put on trial under Nuremberg measures, I can see why they say it. Why might Americans come before the International Criminal Court. Consider a ca 1970 statement in the German family sex magazine Stern: Vietnam wird heftiger bombardiert als Deutschland im zweiten Weltkrieg-Vietnam is being more heavily bombarded that Germany in WWII. Imitation is flattery, and if other nations apply the Bill of Rights to us, let us accept and encourage it.

8:39AM PDT on May 6, 2011

Go ICC!

1:02AM PDT on May 6, 2011

It's not so funny, and whilst Libya is not top of the democracy pops, neither is the USA. Libya is a target for it's resources, to get the hated by the West Gaddafi, and possibly as a possible future location for the USA's proposed Africom military base which no other African nation is interested in hosting because none trust the US's agenda.

The whole exercise in Libya is a charade, don't get sucked in..

11:09PM PDT on May 5, 2011

International Criminal Court should first arrest George Bush and his cronies for WAR CRIMES Gaddafi case comes much later .
the destruction Bush has made for its own people and the Iraq and Afghanistan is unforgivable

9:25PM PDT on May 5, 2011

I hope the rebels or whichever regime has taken over can arrest these individuals otherwise the warrant is a piece of toilet paper.

3:56PM PDT on May 5, 2011

Sounds good to me!

3:25PM PDT on May 4, 2011

I hope and pray this action against these three men will go forth. They must be brought to Justice for their crimes against humanity. Innocent Civilians including Children have been murdered by this government. The regime of Omar Gaddafi has shown over and over how brutal it has been against their own people. These are indeed war crimes and arrest and punishment must be administered. The sooner the better!

2:53PM PDT on May 4, 2011

LOL

So, are the sending the International Criminal Court Police in to get them?

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I am hoping this comes true.............

I am interested too see whether or not this is actually upheld by 2030

Very interesting article, thank-you for sharing it's important this issue is out in the open.

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