ICC tasks Libya, international community to devise strategy to address impunity gap

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iccLibya and the International community have been urged to devise a comprehensive strategy to address serious crimes committed in the country as well as close the impunity gap.

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The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Fatou Bensouda made the call on Thursday while addressing the UN Security Council.

She said that the “new Libya” desired to become a stable, democratic society that fully observes the rule of law and punish perpetrators of crimes that shock the conscience of humanity.

“These aspirations, while genuine and praiseworthy, are yet to be fully realised,” she said, as she briefed on the situation in Libya.

Bensouda also welcomed gains such as the draft law that would make rape during armed conflict a war crime in Libya.

She expressed great concern that thousands of detainees remained in uncertain conditions in the country, with multiple and apparently well-founded allegations of torture and even killings in detention.

“It is incumbent upon the Ministers of Justice, Interior and Defence of the State of Libya to speedily ensure that detainees are transferred to proper government-controlled detention facilities where they can be either charged with their due process rights fully respected, or released where appropriate.

“Torture and inhuman treatment of prisoners should have no place in the new Libya,” she stated.

The Prosecutor also strongly urged the government to surrender Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi the former leader’s son, who had been indicted by the ICC in relation to attacks against protesters and rebels during the 2011 uprising, to the Court without further delay.

“I stress the critical importance for all States to respect and implement the decisions of the Court’s judges. The obligation to surrender to the Court persons against whom arrest warrants have been issued must be respected,” she added.

In the case of former senior intelligence official Abdullah Al-Senussi, who was also indicted for alleged crimes against humanity, the ICC had decided last month that he could be tried in Libya by the national authorities.

“The challenge is now for Libya to demonstrate to the world that Al-Senussi will receive a genuinely fair, impartial and speedy trial that respects all his rights and fundamental guarantees, including the right to counsel of his choice.

“It also falls upon this Council and the international community to assist Libya in this process and to ensure that justice is not only done, but is seen to be effectively done,” Bensouda said.

She pointed out that there are many others who are alleged to have committed crimes and who had continued to commit crimes in Libya since February 2011.

“Some are still inside in the country while others are abroad where they continue to use their influence to destabilise the country and pose a security threat to civilians.

“It is impossible for the ICC alone to investigate and prosecute all perpetrators. Neither can Libya undertake this demanding task alone. Investigation and prosecution of the few by both ICC and the government of Libya respectively should not result in impunity for the many,” she stressed.

Bensouda said that joint complementary efforts of both the government and the ICC, strongly and actively supported by the international community, are therefore crucial for ending impunity in the country.

“We call on all States to assist Libya in its efforts to become a fully-fledged, secure, democratic society that adheres to the highest standards of justice.

“The Libyan people deserve no less,” Bensouda added. (NAN)

Babatunde Akinsola
Babatunde Akinsolahttps://naija247news.com
Babatunde Akinsola is aNaija247news' Southwest editor. He's based in Lagos and writes on the Yoruba Nation political issues, news and investigative reports

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