For Immediate Release: May 17, 2011
Washington, D.C. — Yesterday, the International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo announced his decision to apply for arrest warrants for three Libyan leaders, including Col. Muammar Gaddafi, his son Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi and Abdullah Al-Sanousi, the Head of the Military Intelligence. Human Rights First praises the prompt action of the ICC in seeking justice for victims of crimes against humanity. Allegations of the crimes are based on evidence of widespread or systematic targeting of the civilian population in Libya. Since Libya is not a member of the ICC treaty, the Court’s jurisdiction is not automatic, but rather, is triggered by the UN Security Council’s referral of the Libya situation to the Court.
The Pre-Trail Chamber judges will now determine whether to issue arrest warrants for these three individuals. If arrest warrants are issued, member states of the United Nations are urged by the Security Council to cooperate with the Court to facilitate execution of the arrest warrants and provide other assistance to the prosecution. States that are parties to the ICC treaty are obligated to provide such cooperation.
Human Rights First calls upon the United States, which is not a party to the ICC treaty, to cooperate fully with the Court. As a member of the Security Council which referred the matter to the ICC, and as one of the States that is directly involved in military action in Libya, the United States has a special obligation to see that justice is done.
The official ICC statement can be found here.