Libyan leaders face arrests on war crimes charges

The GuardianLuis Moreno-Ocampo, chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Court, has issued a report saying that the Gaddafi regime committed war crimes against Libyan pro-democracy demonstrations, opening fire “systematically” on peaceful protesters.

Addressing the UN security council in New York, the prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, said he will ask judges at the court in The Hague for three warrants. He has not named his suspects but in his report to the UN security council on Wednesdayhe said they were the people who gave the orders for the alleged atrocities. The Guardian has learned from well-informed sources that Gaddafi will top the list, and that his brother-in-law and intelligence chief, Abdullah Senussi, is also likely to be included.

Other names in the frame include the leader’s second oldest son Saif al-Islam and Mahmoud Al-Baghdadi, in effect, the nation’s prime minister.

The Guardian “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 organisations that execute the orders,” Moreno-Ocampo said. He added that the arrests were a manner of urgency.

“Justice is on course today; however, if those who order the crimes are not stopped and arrested murder, persecution, systematic arrests, torture, killings, enforced disappearances and attacks against unarmed civilians will continue unabated” the prosecutor said.

In the course of a two-month preliminary investigation, Moreno-Ocampo’s investigators found widespread evidence of crimes against humanity.

“Concerning the manner and nature of the crimes, the shooting at peaceful protesters was systematic, following the same modus operandi in multiple locations and executed through security forces. The persecution appears to be also systematic and implemented in different cities. War crimes are apparently committed as a matter of policy,” the report said. Moreno-Ocampo said thousands of people had died since the beginning of the conflict.

As well as the use of live ammunition against unarmed demonstrators, the ICC investigation found evidence of a range of abuses including torture, systematic rape, the use of cluster munitions and other heavy weaponry in urban areas, the use of civilians as human shields and the blocking of humanitarian supplies.

“Civilians in Tripoli and other areas are reportedly subject to different forms of persecution because of their suspected association with the uprising,” the report stated. “Systematic arrests, torture, killings, deportations, enforced disappearances and destruction of mosques have been reported in Tripoli, Al Zawiyah, Zintan and the area of the Nafousa mountains. The victims are allegedly civilians who participated in demonstrations or talked to international media, activists, journalists, as well as citizens of Egypt and Tunisia that were arrested and expelled en masse because of their perceived association with the popular uprising.”

The ICC prosecutor’s office is also looking into several reports that anti-government crowds attacked and killed “dozens” of immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa, who were suspected of being pro-Gaddafi mercenaries.

“A number of Sub-Saharan Africans were allegedly arrested by the new authorities in Benghazi and it is unclear whether they were innocent immigrant workers or prisoners of war,” the report said.

The report was commissioned by the security council on 26 February when it referred the case to the ICC. The investigation is highly significant politically as Nato went to war in Libya on “humanitarian grounds”, on the strength of security souncil 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.

Moreno-Ocampo will present his first application for an arrest warrant to the ICC’s pre-trial chamber, expected to convene in mid-May.

“It will focus on those most responsible for crimes against humanity committed in the territory of Libya since 15 February 2011,” he told the security council.

If the judges grant his request, the question will be who should carry out the arrests. Moreno-Ocampo will say that if the Libyan government fails to act, the security council itself “should evaluate” how to do it. It is unclear whether Russia or China would veto the authorisation of Nato to carry out the arrests. That would most likely involve sending troops into Tripoli.

Read the article here.

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9 Responses to Libyan leaders face arrests on war crimes charges

  1. Grey says:

    I can’t say whether or not there was absolutely no firing on protesters.

    Yet the behaviour of these “protesters” in Benghazi at a battalion barracks suggests that the soldiers did not have orders to shoot at will, but only to shoot as a last option in self defence.

    • lol says:

      You can not form a judgement based on one youtube video, where the events before the video and after are absent. The context of the battle for liberation and freedom for the Libyans starts from 1969.

  2. Mohammed says:

    This video does not prove anything! I doubt it was filmed on the 16th of February.

    The soldiers killed and maimed many when the peaceful protests started about a human rights lawyer defending the families of the 1200 murdered of Abu Selim prison.

    There are plenty of videos which show how ruthless and barbaric the government troops are. They shot people who did not even have stones.

    Yes after they started killing and maiming, more and more people came out. It was to the point that they had two choices either kill or be killed.

    So stop with the nonsense your god Gaddafi is a Saint.

    He has killed even foreign workers waiting at the port with the sole intention of leaving the country!

  3. Mohammed says:

    Can some one from libyafeb17 or from Bengazi confirm when and what happened in the above video.

  4. you all must be f-ucking nuts……..Gaddafi’s a done deal……..Even though his cohorts run the east….

    Those black refugees being sent out of country…Anyone interviewing to factually establish Gaddaffi’s recruiting methodology with migrants and mercenaries……Hm,mmmmm

  5. Fredy says:

    So what are these guys going to do once they issue arrests warrants are they going to pick up Gaddafi and Company ?

    Bologni !

  6. 15:46 NATO Aircraft conducted 160 sorties on May 4th, 49 of which were intended as strike sorties. Some of the targets included in the vicinity of Tripoli: 2 Ammunition Storages, 1 Bunker and 1 Surface to Air location. In the vicinity of Misurata: 1 Pick-up truck, 3 Tanks, 2 Mobile Rocket Launcher, 3 Armoured Vehicles. In the
    vicinity of Ajdabiya 1 Mobile Rocket Launcher

    I’m about tired of the cute stuff, These statistics to justify the flights are meaningless…There’s no way you can possibly verify it all behind enemy lines….Or know how much of his force is decimated….He’s obviously underground…..And I’m sure that if he’s underground, there has been a plan for just this type of contingency…………….I wasn’t really thinking it all through….Whenever the black community in Chicago has made inroads in civil rights issues, it has been stifled by our own clergy………Hmmmmmmmmmm, …………Yessir, they do have thir own way of doing things don’t they…When there were marches planned out of the Mosque…..who dropped that science to Gaddaffi. When the soldiers had list of people to look for, who gave them to them…….Hmmmmmmmm…………..Clergy need the people unhappy in order to profit…Clergy have been used to control the population since people first start building towns…..And yet, I have heard absolutely nothing about them in this whole long saga….Like I always say, it’s in what’s not said that the truth is found……Who are the major clergy involved here, and what do they have to say about Gaddaffi’s activities…Especially the ones who side with Gaddaffi.

  7. Grey says:

    Can anyone translate this for me?

    Perhaps if you increased the offer a bit, you might get more bombing.

  8. Fredy says:

    The clergy issue is very touchy Ankh, these dudes always play major roles in society. I agree with you, the priests are in the business of dealing with sadness.

    What is their role in Dafi’s war ?

    It’s more than dealing with sadness.

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