[JURIST] Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, son of late Libya leader Muammar Gaddafi, was released from prison Friday, according to the Abu Bakr al-Sideeq militia, which was held him for the past five years. Saif, 44, who was the most high-profile of Gaddafi’s children, was expected to lead Libya after his father. Saif was released under a “General Amnesty Law” passed by the Libyan House of Representatives [official website]. Saif is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] for crimes against humanity. According to Sarah Leah Whitson [advocacy profile], Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch [advoacy website], “the reported release of Saif al-Islam Gaddafi based on the Libyan parliament’s 2015 flawed amnesty law does not change the fact that he is wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of crimes against humanity related to the 2011 uprising.” Saif’s lawyer told media [Reuters report] that he will not be turning himself in to the ICC.
Saif has faced a long list of legal issues ever since the 2011 revolt. In 2013 about 30 aides to Muammar Gaddafi, including Saif, were indicted [JURIST report] by a Libyan court for a list of offenses allegedly committed during the 2011 revolt [JURIST backgrounder], including murder, kidnapping, complicity in incitement to rape, plunder, sabotage, embezzlement of public funds and acts harmful to national unity. In August 2013 Saif al-Islam and Abdullah al-Senussi were charged [JURIST report] in Libya with murder relating to the 2011 revolt. A month earlier the ICC rejected [JURIST report] the country’s request to suspend an order to hand over Saif to face the international charges.