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Libya: Latest Statements and News
22 Aug 2011
Dear all,

On 22 August 2011, it was reported that International Criminal Court (ICC) suspect Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi was detained by the forces of Libya's Transitional National Council in Tripoli. Please find below the latest statements by the International Criminal Court (I) and members of the Coalition for the International Criminal Court (II), as well as news and opinions (III) related to this recent development in the situation in Libya.

Please also take note of the Coalition's policy on situations before the ICC (below), which explicitly states that the Coalition will not take a position on potential and current situations before the Court or situations under analysis. The Coalition, however, will continue to provide the most up-to-date information about the ICC.

Best regards,

CICC Secretariat
www.coalitionfortheicc.org

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I. ICC STATEMENT

"ICC Prosecutor talks to Transitional National Council in Libya" ICC Office of the Prosecutor, Press Release, ICC-OTP-20110822-PR711, 22 August 2011, http://www.icc-cpi.int/NR/exeres/64219461-A5E7-4883-A567-2FFC9E184359.htm

"On 22 August 2011, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Luis Moreno-Ocampo spoke to authorities of the Transitional National Council. The Transitional National Council explained the efforts to stabilize the situation in Tripoli and in all the country establish security and control any attack against the civilian population.

The Prosecutor is committed to support such efforts, by pursuing his mandate to investigate and prosecute cases to contribute to the prevention of the crimes under the jurisdiction of the Court.

Further conversations will define the precise way to move forward, including the possibility to apprehend and surrender to the Court the three individuals alleged to have committed crimes after 17 of February 2011, and also to investigate and prosecute them in Libya for crimes committed previously.

"Crimes in Libya were primarily committed against Libyans. The Court issued arrest warrants on 27 of June against three individuals. They are some of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole. That is why the UN Security Council referred the situation to the International Criminal Court in February 2011."

The Prosecutor is committed to work with Libyan authorities.

For more information: Florence Olara Public Information Officer, [email protected]<mailto:[email protected]> +31 70 515 8723 (office), +31 65 029 4476 (mobile)."

II. COALITION MEMBER STATEMENTS

1. "Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi must be transferred to the ICC" FIDH Press release, 22 August 2011 http://www.fidh.org/Saif-Al-Islam-Gaddafi-must-be

"Following the reported arrest of Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi, Moammar Gaddafi's son, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) calls for his immediate transfer to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.

According to news reports, Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi has been captured and is in detention in Tripoli. FIDH recalls that the ICC has issued arrest warrants for him, as well as for his father Col. Moammar Gaddafi and Abdullah Al-Sanusi, Chief of Intelligence. They are suspected of having committed crimes against humanity, including murder and persecution against the civilian population during the uprising in Libya.

"The Interim National Council is under the obligation to transfer Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi, as well as the other two suspects if arrested, to the ICC," said Souhayr Belhassen, FIDH President. "The Interim National Council has repeatedly vowed to cooperate with the ICC. In transferring the suspects, the Council would be abiding by the principles of democracy and rule of law, which it has so prominently claimed for over the last six months."

FIDH takes this opportunity to call upon the ICC Prosecutor once again to continue his investigations in relation to crimes committed in Libya by all parties, in particular with regard to allegations of sexual violence committed by Gaddafi's forces, as well as alleged attacks against Sub-saharan Africans perceived as mercenaries. According to news reports, Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi has been captured and is in detention in Tripoli. FIDH recalls that the ICC has issued arrest warrants for him, as well as for his father Col. Moammar Gaddafi and Abdullah Al-Sanusi, Chief of Intelligence. They are suspected of having committed crimes against humanity, including murder and persecution against the civilian population during the uprising in Libya.

"The Interim National Council is under the obligation to transfer Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi, as well as the other two suspects if arrested, to the ICC," said Souhayr Belhassen, FIDH President. "The Interim National Council has repeatedly vowed to cooperate with the ICC. In transferring the suspects, the Council would be abiding by the principles of democracy and rule of law, which it has so prominently claimed for over the last six months."

FIDH takes this opportunity to call upon the ICC Prosecutor once again to continue his investigations in relation to crimes committed in Libya by all parties, in particular with regard to allegations of sexual violence committed by Gaddafi's forces, as well as alleged attacks against Sub-saharan Africans perceived as mercenaries.

Background

Libya has been in turmoil since mid-February 2011 when Gaddafi's regime started launching massive attacks against protesters and other civilians. The situation in Libya was referred to the ICC by the UN Security Council on 26 February 2011, following Resolution 1970 which was adopted unanimously. The ICC Office of the Prosecutor announced the opening of an investigation on 3 March 2011. Arrest warrants for Moammar Gaddafi, Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi and Abdullah Al-Sanusi were issued on 27 June 2011.

The ICC is the first permanent international criminal court. It was created in 1998 and started operations in 2002. Its mandate is to investigate, prosecute and try individuals responsible for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes."

2. "Libya: All Sides Obligated to Protect Civilians: National Transitional Council Should Protect Vulnerable Sites and Groups, Not Seek Revenge" Human Rights Watch Press Release, 22 August 2011, http://www.hrw.org/news/2011/08/22/libya-all-sides-obligated-protect-civilians

"(New York) - As fighting reaches the Libyan capital, Tripoli, all sides to the conflict - forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi, forces of the National Transitional Council, and the NATO allies - need to ensure that they take all feasible steps to avoid harming civilians, Human Rights Watch said today. The National Transitional Council (NTC) should instruct its forces not to engage in acts of revenge, Human Rights Watch said.

"The pro-Gaddafi forces, fighters of the National Transitional Council, and NATO must do everything feasible to protect civilians caught in the fighting," said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch. "NTC forces should not carry out reprisals against those who fought for or supported the Gaddafi government."

Internally displaced persons in areas now controlled by NTC forces need immediate protection, Human Rights Watch said. Dark-skinned Libyans face particular risks, Human Rights Watch said, because they have frequently been accused of fighting as pro-Gaddafi mercenaries from other African countries.

Human Rights Watch also called on NTC forces to protect state institutions such as police stations, security offices, courts, prisons, and other facilities that could come under attack from NTC fighters or angry Tripoli residents. Arms depots and military facilities that may be vulnerable to looting should also be secured.

All those detained by rebel forces, including pro-Gaddafi fighters and Gaddafi supporters as well as members of the Gaddafi family, should be treated humanely in accordance with international human rights and humanitarian law standards, Human Rights Watch said.

According to the NTC, on August 21, 2011, its forces arrested Seif al-Islam Gaddafi, son of the Libyan leader, who is among those sought on an International Criminal Court (ICC) arrest warrant for crimes against humanity. The ICC Office of the Prosecutor said that Seif al-Islam was reportedly detained by "rebel special forces."

Seif al-Islam and others wanted by the ICC should be handed over to the court for fair trial, Human Rights Watch said. In April the NTC sent a letter to the ICC prosecutor promising to cooperate with the court.

On June 27, the ICC judges issued warrants for Muammar Gaddafi, his son Seif al-Islam, and Libya's intelligence chief, Abdullah Sanussi. They are wanted on charges of crimes against humanity for their roles in attacks on civilians, including peaceful demonstrators, in Tripoli, Benghazi, Misrata, and other Libyan cities and towns after the start of anti-government protests in eastern Libya on February 15.

>From August 4 to 11 Human Rights Watch sent a four-person team in Tripoli and other government-held parts of western Libya. The team engaged senior Libyan officials about human rights violations during the conflict and visited sites of NATO airstrikes where civilians are alleged to have died. It conducted brief visits to two prisons in Tripoli.

Since anti-government protests erupted in mid-February 2011, followed by armed clashes, government forces have committed numerous violations of the laws of war, including indiscriminate attacks in places with civilians such as Misrata and towns in the Western Mountains.

Rebel forces have carried out some acts of revenge in areas they captured that supported the government, including looting, arson, and some beatings of civilians. Opposition leaders have condemned such attacks and in speeches and television broadcasts over the past 24 hours have urged their fighters not to engage in retaliatory violence.

"The NTC has made welcome statements against revenge, but the danger of these attacks still exists," Stork said. "Opposition leaders and the governments supporting them should keep pressing to avoid atrocities motivated by revenge."

NATO forces should also take all feasible measures to avoid civilian casualties in their airstrikes, as required by international humanitarian law, Human Rights Watch. Some airstrikes in western Libya recently inspected by Human Rights Watch apparently caused civilian deaths.

"Libya is facing the possibility of a new state that respects fundamental rights," said Stork. "But what happens in the next few days will set the tone for all that lies ahead." "

3. "Libyan civilians must be protected amid Tripoli fighting", Amnesty International Press Release, 22 August 2011, http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/libyan-civilians-must-be-protected-amid-tripoli-fighting-2011-08-22

Amnesty International has today urged all sides in Libya to protect the rights of civilians and safeguard them from attack as forces of the National Transitional Council (NTC) continued to battle for control of the capital, Tripoli. NTC forces said earlier that they had captured some of Colonel Mu'ammar al-Gaddafi's sons, including Saif al-Islam who, like his father, was recently indicted for alleged crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

"These are momentous but extremely dangerous days for the people of Libya. All forces must respect the rights of civilians and ensure that the fighting in Tripoli and elsewhere does not result in reprisals," said Malcolm Smart, Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa Director.

"NTC forces must make sure that Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi is treated humanely and handed over safely to the ICC without delay to face trial, as should Colonel al-Gaddafi be if he is captured or surrenders."

Forces loyal to Colonel al-Gaddafi are involved in heavy fighting with NTC forces around the Colonel's compound in Tripoli. There have been scenes of jubilation among NTC supporters across the city but also reports of revenge attacks against al-Gaddafi loyalists, with the NTC's head today making a call for calm.

"The NTC must ensure that its members and supporters do not carry out revenge attacks or other reprisals against alleged al-Gaddafi supporters and sub-Saharan Africans accused of being mercenaries," said Malcolm Smart. The NTC has reportedly secured the release of some political prisoners who had been detained by al-Gaddafi forces.

"The reports of releases are welcome, but urgent steps must also to be taken to clarify the fate of victims of enforced disappearance held in Colonel al-Gaddafi's jails," said Malcolm Smart.

On 27 June, ICC judges approved warrants for the arrest of Colonel al-Gaddafi, Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi and military intelligence chief Abdallah al-Sanussi for alleged crimes against humanity, including murder and persecution. Mu'ammar al-Gaddafi is accused of ordering a wave of killings and enforced disappearances of suspected critics of the government after protests against his rule began in February in Benghazi, inspired by mass protests across the Middle East and North Africa.

"Colonel al-Gaddafi and others who are accused of orchestrating the bloody crackdown in Libya must be held to account in accordance with international law," said Malcolm Smart."

III. News and opinion

1. "Lawyers Use Tape Measures to Find Libya War-Crimes Evidence" by Chris Stephen, Bloomberg, 22 August 2011 http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-08-21/lawyers-armed-with-tape-measures-seek-libya-war-crimes-evidence.html

2. "Libya rebels, ICC negotiate handover of Gaddafi son Saif" Reuters, 22 August 2011 http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/08/22/libya-icc-saif-idUSL5E7JM0Z920110822

3. "ICC confirms that Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi has been arrested in Libya" The Hague Justice Portal, 22 August 2011 http://www.haguejusticeportal.net/eCache/DEF/12/892.TGFuZz1FTg.html

4. "Seif Al-Islam Gadhafi's Arrest, Transfer To Be Discussed Tuesday - ICC" Wall Street journal, 22 August 2011 http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20110821-705468.html

5. "Libya: Saif al-Islam Gaddafi detained by rebels, ICC confirm" by Andrew Hough, The Telegraph, 22 August 2011 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/libya/8714931/Libya-Saif-al-Islam-Gaddafi-detained-by-rebels-ICC-confirm.html

6. "Gaddafi sons in custody; Senussi at large" Al Jazeera, 22 August 2011 http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/spotlight/libya/2011/08/201182243539902478.html

7. "Libya conflict: Gaddafi's son captured live on television" The Telegraph, 22 August 2011 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/libya/libya-video/8715161/Libya-conflict-Gaddafis-son-captured-live-on-television.html

8. "Int'l court: Rebels have detained Gadhafi's son" The Associated Press, 22 August 2011 http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gf96il0zfKIeUZnQ3vfwfFLy-rSQ?docId=51adc4c9d16848a5a0f1a6406f0946f0

9. "ICC in The Hague Holds Talks on Qaddafi's Son Saif Al-Islam" by Fred Pals, 22 August 2011 http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-08-22/icc-in-the-hague-holds-talks-on-qaddafi-s-son-saif-al-islam-1-.html

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CICC's policy on the referral and prosecution of situations before the ICC:

The Coalition for the ICC is not an organ of the court. The CICC is an independent NGO movement dedicated to the establishment of the International Criminal Court as a fair, effective, and independent international organization. The Coalition will continue to provide the most up-to-date information about the ICC and to help coordinate global action to effectively implement the Rome Statute of the ICC. The Coalition will also endeavor to respond to basic queries and to raise awareness about the ICC's trigger mechanisms and procedures, as they develop. The Coalition as a whole, and its secretariat, do not endorse or promote specific investigations or prosecutions or take a position on situations before the ICC. However, individual CICC members may endorse referrals, provide legal and other support on investigations, or develop partnerships with local and other organizations in the course of their efforts. Communications to the ICC can be sent to: ICC P.O. box 19519 2500 CM the Hague The Netherlands