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Libya Congress bans Gaddafi senior officials from new administration

Libya's General National Congress (GNC) [official website, in Arabic] on Sunday approved [press release, in Arabic] the political isolation law, which would ban anyone who worked as a senior official under Muammar Gaddafi [BBC obituary; JURIST news archive] from holding a position in Libya's government for the next 10 years. Current officials who lose their post will be replaced by either the party's next name in line or by the district's candidate who came in second. The law covers officials from Gaddafi's entire 42-year regime. Critics claim the vote was undemocratic [AP report] since it took place under the threat of violence from militias and criticize the law itself for precluding judicial review. The law was also criticized [JURIST report] by Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] because the "provisions and procedures for exclusion are too sweeping and vague."

Libya has attempted other sanctions for those related to the Gaddafi regime, such as the ongoing attempt to try Gaddafi's son, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, and former Libyan intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi [BBC profiles], rather than turn them over to the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website]. Last week, Saif al-Islam made a second court appearance [JURIST report] in Zintan, Libya, but the court postponed further proceedings until mid-September in order to allow for adequate trial preparation. In April, HRW reported that Al-Senussi had been unable to speak with a lawyer or told what charges he faces during his eight-month detention, despite February's order from the ICC [JURIST reports] to Libyan officials to hand over al-Senussi so that he could meet with a lawyer. In January the ICC asked Libya to address reports [JURIST report] that it planned to try Saif al-Islam and al-Senussi. In June 2012 four ICC staff members who traveled to Libya to speak with Saif al-Islam were detained by Libyan security forces [JURIST report] and were in custody for nearly four weeks before being released. The ICC issued arrest warrants for both men in June 2011.

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