Libyan authorities have failed to investigate or prosecute those responsible for grave violations. Libya’s institutions, particularly its judiciary, are in a state of near-collapse, and many courts have suspended their activities due to targeting of judges and prosecutors and the general deterioration in security.
Inaction by authorities in Libya to address escalating crimes has contributed to a culture of impunity and has helped set the stage for the lawlessness in Libya today, Human Rights Watch said.
In a November 5, 2014 letter, Human Rights Watch urged the ICC prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda (pictured), to consider serious ongoing violations in Libya beyond the scope of her current investigation, which is limited to cases from 2011 involving officials of the former Gaddafi government.
Bensouda, who has jurisdiction over war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide committed in Libya since February 15, 2011, has not pursued a further investigation, citing instability in Libya and lack of resources as obstacles to more probes in the country by her office.
The ICC’s Office of the Prosecutor is investigating cases in eight countries but has struggled with its existing caseload and calls to act in many other situations, Human Rights Watch said.
“Having voted unanimously to give the ICC a mandate in Libya, the Security Council should now step up to ensure the court has what it needs to look at ongoing grave abuses in the country,” Dicker said. “Focusing on Gaddafi-era officials is no longer sufficient.”
In her briefing, Bensouda is expected to provide an updated overview of her Libya investigation. The prosecutor’s first case implicated Muammar Gaddafi, who has since been killed, Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, and Abdullah Sanussi, the Gaddafi-era intelligence chief.
Libya has yet to hand over to the court Saif al-Islam Gaddafi despite a Security Council resolution requiring cooperation with the court and an outstanding ICC request to hand him over. Saif al-Islam Gaddafi is wanted by the ICC for crimes against humanity for his alleged role in attacks on civilians, including peaceful demonstrators, during the country’s 2011 uprising.