Calls On ICC to Prosecute Tawargha Crimes and Assure Saif Quathafi safety

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[Commentary: Libya]

The International Association Against Torture (AICT) is here today to demand that the International Criminal Court use all of its resources to determine the current conditions which Mr. Saif al-Islam Gaddafi is facing in Libya and to transfer him immediately to the Hague.

The whereabouts, well-being and conditions of incarceration of Saif al-Islam are unknown. Reports indicate that Saif al-Islam has been refused counsel of his choice to represent him on the charges he faces in Libya. Given the criminal treatment accorded Mr. Gaddafi’s father, Col. Muammar Gaddafi, who was captured, tortured and murdered by the same National Transition Council (NTC),  our concern for his well-being is well-founded.

From the ICC’s inception, its practices have reflected a disturbing pro-Western bias. The only defendants on its current docket are African. Last year, at the behest of the NATO powers which provided the de facto air force for the opposition (NTC) in the Libyan civil war, the ICC  quickly issued arrest warrants for Col. Gaddafi, Saif al-Islam and Abdullah al-Senussi (the head of Libya’s Military Intelligence).

Now that the NATO powers have effected the regime change it sought in Libya, the ICC is dragging its feet in assuring the safe transfer of Saif al-Islam from Libya, where he faces a certain conviction and death sentence, to the Hague, where his prosecution will be subject to international scrutiny.

The pro-Western bias is also seen in the lack of ICC response to reports that NTC forces targeted, tortured, forced the emigration of and killed Black Libyans. A predominantly Black town, Tawergha was destroyed by NTC forces.

There will only be universal respect for the ICC when there is universal, unbiased, apolitical application of its mechanisms. The ICC can show its commitment to this principle by bringing Saif al-Islam to the Hague and by prosecuting the NTC for its commission of crimes against humanity. The failure of the ICC to act in this matter will make it complicit with any harm that comes to Saif al-Islam while he remains in Libya.

Contact AICT  (718) 230-5270 (tel) - (718) 230-5273 (fax)

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