Former Libyan prime minister Al-Baghdadi Ali Al-Mahmoudi [BBC backgrounder] was arrested Wednesday in Tamaghza, Tunisia, near the border with Algeria, according to Tunisian authorities. Al-Mahmoudi was sentenced to six months in prison for illegal entering the country [BBC report]. Al-Mahmoudi served as prime minister under Muammar Gaddafi [JURIST news archive] until Gaddafi was ousted during the Libya conflict [JURIST backgrounder] which began last February. Many senior officials of the Gaddafi regime remain at large [JURIST report], including Gaddafi himself, his son Saif al-Islam Gaddafi and his brother-in-law Abdullah al-Sanussi.
Last month 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]. Although NATO was mandated by the UN to use force in order to stop Muammar Gaddafi 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."