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Updated On: Monday, 16 July 2018
Development Issues

ICC Chief Prosecutor Addressed the Security Council

Content by: South-South News

9 November 2017, New York, USA | South-South News — International Criminal Court (ICC) Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda reminded “each and every combatant engaged in fighting in Libya” that her Office remains seized of the situation in country, adding that, if their actions amount to war crimes or crimes against humanity, “they can be prosecuted.”

The Prosecutor said the security situation in Libya remains unstable with violent clashes occurring between various factions and reports of widespread human rights violations being perpetrated by different parties to the conflict. She also noted reports of “unlawful killings, including the execution of detained persons; kidnappings and forced disappearances; torture; prolonged detentions without trial or other legal process; and arbitrary detention, torture, rape, and other ill-treatment of migrants in official and unofficial detention centres.” Bensouda said she has instructed her Office to continue its inquiries into the alleged crimes against migrants transiting through Libya, adding that these crimes may fall with the ICC’s jurisdiction.

Bensouda told the Council that the ICC had issued an arrest warrant for Major Mahmoud Al-Werfalli in August. Al-Werfalli is the commander of the Al-Saiqa Brigade of the Libyan National Army (LNA) and is accused of war crimes in relation to six unlawful executions that allegedly took place in Benghazi between March and July this year. He is alleged to have ordered or personally committed the executions that resulted in the murder of 33 people. Bensouda emphasized that “irrespective of any reported domestic investigation” by the LNA into Al-Werfalli’s actions, Libya has a legal obligation to arrest and surrender him to the ICC to stand trial.

The ICC Prosecutor said, “Ensuring justice for victims of serious crimes perpetrated in Libya, and bringing to account those who have committed or ordered atrocities, remain critical factors for sustainable peace in a country that has been plagued by conflict for so long.”

Libyan ambassador Elmahdi Elmajerbi said his Government knows that it bears the primary responsibility to fight impunity and achieve justice and views the ICC as an important partner. He said Libya recognizes the delay in prosecuting and arresting suspects, however “this delay does not mean that the national judiciary is unwilling to prosecute and punish those who have committed crimes, rather it was imposed by the security situation witnessed by Libya; the same situation that has prevented the office of the ICC prosecutor to undertake its investigations within the Libyan territory.”

Storyline by: Unifeed


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