Libya: Saif al-Islam Qaddafi released from prison

Saif al-Islam Qaddafi, son of late Libya leader Muammar Qaddafi, was released from prison June 9, according to the Abu Bakr al-Sideeq militia, which has held him for the past five years. Saif, 44, who was the most high-profile of Qaddafi's children, was expected to lead Libya after his father. Saif was released under a "General Amnesty Law" passed by the Libyan House of Representatives. Saif is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity. According to Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch, "the reported release of Saif al-Islam Gaddafi based on the Libyan parliament's 2015 flawed amnesty law does not change the fact that he is wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of crimes against humanity related to the 2011 uprising." Saif's lawyer told media that he will not be turning himself in to the ICC.

Saif has faced a long string of legal issues ever since the 2011 revolt. In 2013 about 30 aides to Moammar Qaddafi, including Saif, were indicted by a Libyan court for a list of offenses allegedly committed during the 2011 uprising, including murder, kidnapping, complicity in incitement to rape, plunder, sabotage, embezzlement of public funds and acts harmful to national unity. In August 2013 Saif al-Islam and Abdullah al-Senussi were charged in Libya with murder relating to the 2011 revolt. A month earlier the ICC rejected the country's request to suspend an order to hand over Saif to face the international charges.

From Jurist, June 11. Used with permission.

Note: The Abu Bakr al-Siddiq Battalion said ithat in releasing Qaddafi, it was acting on a request from the "interim government" based in the east of the country. However, he has been sentenced to death in absentia by a court in Tripoli, in the west, where control is in the hands of the rival UN-backed Government of National Accord. (BBC News)