World Rights groups demand ICC probe into Libya migrant abuses
Son of former Libyan ruler Gadhafi runs for president
The son of Libya's late dictator Moammar Gadhafi appeared for nearly the first time in a decade on Sunday to register as a presidential candidate for a December vote planned to help end the years of chaos since his father was toppled. © Mahmud Turkia/AFP/Getty Images The son of Libya's late dictator Moammar Gadhafi, Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, registered as a presidential candidate for an election scheduled to take place in December 2021.
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Human rights activists sent a dossier of evidence to the International Criminal Court on Tuesday demanding an investigation into abuses of migrants in Libya that they argue “may amount to crimes against humanity.”
The filing, which is confidential, is the latest attempt to have ICC prosecutors investigate the treatment of migrants seeking to make dangerous trips across the Mediterranean Sea to Europe in smugglers' boats.
The son of Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan despot whose toppling characterized the Arab Spring, emerged in public for the first time in 10 years to run for president
Muammar Gaddafi ruled Libya for 42 years until he was captured by a NATO-backed forces and killed in 2011.Gaddafi ruled Libya for 42 years until he was toppled by a NATO-backed intervention in 2011, following protests that swept the country as part of the Arab Spring.
In 2019, lawyers, alleging that EU officials are knowingly responsible for migrant deaths on land and at sea, as well as culpable for rapes and torture of migrants committed by members of the Libyan coast guard, which is funded and trained at the expense of European taxpayers.
The file sent to the ICC on Tuesday urges prosecutors to investigate “armed groups, militias and Libyan state actors” for crimes including “arbitrary detention, torture, murder, persecution, sexual violence and enslavement.” It names 19 potential suspects including militia chiefs.
East Libya strongman Haftar says to run for president
The strongman in the east of war-scarred Libya, Khalifa Haftar, said Tuesday he would run for president in a December 24 election that is also set to be contested by a son of former dictator Moamer Kadhafi. His announcement comes two days after the candidacy of Seif al-Islam Kadhafi -- the son of slain dictator Moamer Kadhafi -- who has been accused of war crimes by the International Criminal Court (ICC). Both are controversial figures. Haftar, backed by Russia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, is despised by many in western Libya and has been accused of seeking to establish a military dictatorship.
“The extreme scale, systemic nature, and seriousness of the abuses suffered by migrants and refugees in Libya trigger ICC jurisdiction” said Dorine Llanta of the International Federation for Human Rights. “Our analysis of reliable open-source information and survivor testimonies clearly shows that many of these abuses may amount to crimes against humanity.”
Rights groups that sent the file to the ICC said in a statement that it is based on interviews with 14 survivors who are now in safety outside Libya and on reports by the United Nations and other organizations. It says that migrants in Libya face a “continuous cycle of abuse that is both widespread and systematic.”
They say that exploitation of migrants including “enslavement, extortion and torture has become an important source of revenue in Libya’s conflict economy.”
Volunteer migrant rescuers on trial in Greece
LESBOS, Greece (AP) — A group of 24 volunteers who took part in migrant rescue operations went on trial Thursday on the Greek island of Lesbos on smuggling-related charges in a case that has been strongly criticized by international human rights groups. The Greek and international volunteers include the Syrian-born competitive swimmer Sara Mardini, whose sister Ysra Mardini, was part of the refugee swimming team at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 and Tokyo earlier this year.
The ICC opened an investigation in Libya a decade ago amid a violent crackdown on dissent by former dictator Moammar Gadhafi. The longtime strongman was among those named as a suspect by the court but was captured and killed by rebels before he could be brought to justice in The Hague.
The court also has filed charges against Gadhafi's son Seif al-Islam linked to his alleged role in the 2011 crackdown. He has never been handed to the court and earlier this monthfor the country’s presidential election next month.
The global court does not have its own police force to arrest suspects, instead relying on cooperation from individual states. Libya is not one of the 123 member states of the Hague-based court, which opened its investigation in the country following a request from the United Nations Security Council.
The ICC is a court of last resort that takes on cases where countries are unwilling or unable to prosecute crimes.
“We strongly believe that only the ICC can address the complexity of the criminal system aimed at exploiting the human suffering of the migrants and refugees in Libya," said Chantal Meloni, Senior Legal Advisor at the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights.
She called on the court's chief prosecutor, Karim Khan, "to finally take the necessary steps to bring the perpetrators to justice.”
UN immigration official says migrants captured by the Libyan Coast Guard are disappearing in the thousands within 'unofficial' facilities run by traffickers and militias .
Representatives from international aid organizations that visit Libyan migrant detention centers say that the numbers "simply don't add up."Federico Soda, the International Organization for Migration's chief of mission in Libya, told the New Yorker that "the numbers simply don't add up." He believes migrants are disappearing within "unofficial" detention facilities run by militias and traffickers, which the United Nations has accused the Libyan Coast Guard of collaborating with, the New Yorker reported.