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Gaddafi minister sentenced to death in Libya court

Ahmed Ibrahim, former minister of education and information for Libya, was sentenced to death on Wednesday for inciting citizens in Muammar Gaddafi's hometown and place of death, Sirte [map], to oppose the rebellion. He is the first member of Gaddafi's ministry to receive a death sentence [AP report], which is to be carried out via firing squad. Ibrahim was also a high ranking member of the "revolutionary committees," organizations of Gaddafi's loyalists known for enforcing his policies. Human rights activists have raised concerns [HRW press release] that the Libyan criminal courts based in Misrata do not meet international standards. The conviction must be confirmed [BBC report] by the Supreme Court before the sentence can be carried out.

This conviction and sentencing come amid debate between the UN and Libya over the proper venue to try Gaddafi-era officials. Human rights groups and the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] have raised objections to the fairness and due process procedures of the newly-established judicial system multiple times [JURIST report]. The ICC and the Libyan courts have both asserted that their own system is the most appropriate venue [JURIST report] for the trial of Gaddafi's son, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi. The ICC has been monitoring the conflict [JURIST feature] since 2011, when the UN Security Council voted unanimously to refer the Libyan revolution to its venue. Although its jurisdiction is subject to a State's proceedings, the ICC will trump that State's right when it cannot genuinely provide due process.

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