ICC prosecutor warns deteriorating security in Libya impeding efforts to end impunity News
ICC prosecutor warns deteriorating security in Libya impeding efforts to end impunity

[JURIST] Chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website], Fatou Bensouda, on Tuesday warned that increasing violence and political instability in Libya are impeding measures to end impunity. In a briefing [text, PDF] to the UN Security Council [official website], Bensouda encouraged the government of Libya to cooperate with the ICC, in particular encouraging them to surrender Saif Al-Islam to The Hague and noting that the proceedings against Abdullah Al- Senussi have concluded. The prosecutor also noted that due to the violence and lack of resources, investigations have been “significantly slowed.” However, as violent clashes continue, two opposing armed coalitions have materialized: “Operation Dignity” and “Operation Libya Dawn.” According to the briefing, “both sides of the conflict have appeared to commit crimes” and because of the constant fighting and threats, courts in Libya have not been operating. The ICC finally urged partners of the Libyan government to provide support to help restore security in Libya so that justice can be brought to the victims of the violence. Groups like Human Rights Watch [advocacy website] have supported the briefing, encouraging the UN to use it as a message that the Libyan government should cooperate with the ICC.

Libya remains politically unstable more than three years after the 2011 uprising [JURIST backgrounder] and subsequent civil war that deposed former dictator Muammar Gaddafi [BBC obituary]. On Thursday the Supreme Court in Libya declared the UN-backed elected parliament unconstitutional [JURIST report]. In October Amnesty International [advocacy website] released a report accusing rival militias in Libya of committing serious human rights abuses [JURIST report], including war crimes. In the same month Libyan militant Ahmed Abu Khatallah [USA Today profile] pleaded not guilty [JURIST report] to 17 charges related to the September 2012 attack [WP backgrounder] on the US diplomatic compound in Benghazi, including some charges that warrant the death penalty. The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights [official website] condemned [JURIST report] the targeted attacks on human rights groups and activists by armed groups in Libya.