Back in February, the UN Security Council voted unanimously to refer Gaddafi’s crackdown on demonstrators to the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Now, ICC investigators say they have proof that Gaddafi’s forces have committed crimes against humanity. Its chief prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, said on Monday he would ask for up to five arrest warrants. The indictments should reach ICC judges within weeks.
“We have strong evidence on the beginning of the conflict, the shooting of civilians,” Moreno-Ocampo told Reuters, and noted that the killing of unarmed civilians qualifies as a crime against humanity. “Also, we have strong evidence of the crime of persecution,” he said. This includes “massive arrests and torture of people, and some forced disappearances … (for) talking to journalists or going to demonstrations.”
The ICC is also investigating the claim that Gaddafi’s troops were issued Viagra, and may have been instructed or encouraged to engage in rape. “We are trying to confirm this public announcement through evidence so it can stand in court,” Moreno-Ocampo said. “In some other conflicts you have had some battalions that are just devoted to rape.”
The ICC is also investigating allegations on the other side, where they are looking into claims that opposition members attacked black Africans in Libya whom they assumed to be Gaddafi’s mercenaries. The Libyan opposition has pledged full cooperation with the ICC, whereas Gaddafi regime has not responded to the ICC’s requests for information.
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