Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website], Luis Moreno-Ocampo [official profile], announced on Thursday that he is seeking assistance [press release] from INTERPOL [official website] to locate and arrest former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi [BBC profile; JURIST news archive]. The ICC issued arrest warrants [JURIST report] for Gaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam Gaddafi and his brother-in-law Abdullah al-Sanussi for alleged crimes against humanity. Saif al-Islam Gaddafi was allegedly captured [JURIST report] last month but a free Saif al-Islam vowed to continue fighting [The Telegraph report] to foreign media. The whereabouts of Gaddafi and Abdullah al-Sanussi are currently unknown.
The Libya conflict [JURIST backgrounder] has been ongoing since February. Last month, Libyan Prime Minister Al Baghdad Ali Al-Mahmoudi requested that the UN create a "high-level commission" to investigate alleged human rights abuses [JURIST report] by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) [official website]. Though NATO was mandated by the UN to use force in order to stop Muammar from fomenting violence upon Libyan citizens, the campaign has allegedly gone beyond the scope of protecting civilians and recently led to the death of 85 civilians in one night after NATO forces bombed a residential area supposedly housing a rebel command center. In June, the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) [official website] decided to extend a mandate to an investigative panel instructing it to continue its investigation of human rights abuses in Libya, after it published a 92-page report [JURIST reports]. The report claims Libyan authorities have committed crimes against humanity such as acts constituting murder, imprisonment and other severe deprivations of physical liberties, torture, forced disappearances and rape "as part of a widespread or systematic attack against a civilian population with knowledge of the attack."