The UN appointed a team of special prosecutors March 9 to investigate claims that Libyan leader Moammar Qaddafi has ordered forces to torture and abduct opponents. An investigation was also launched last week by the International Criminal Court (ICC) into possible crimes against humanity. The new probe by special rapporteur for torture Juan Mendez will focus on accusations that Qaddafi has ordered hospital patients’ executions, fired on protesters and used other extreme tactics against opponents. Describing complaints as “well-documented,” Mendez has requested information from Qaddafi and stated that a lack of response will be noted in monthly reports to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC).
Earlier this month, the UN Security Council voted unanimously to impose sanctions on Qaddafi, marking the first unanimous referral to the ICC in UN history. Resolution 1970 also received support from Libya’s delegation itself, which renounced Qaddafi. The UN General Assembly voted last week to suspend Libya from the UNHRC in response to the violent suppression of peaceful protesters by forces loyal to Qaddafi. According to a statement issued by the court, the ICC will not grant immunity to any person perpetrating crimes against humanity in Libya.
From Jurist, March 8. Used with permission.