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ICC Suspect Muammar Gaddafi Reported Dead: Latest Media Statements and News
20 Oct 2011
Media reports have confirmed that former Libyan leader Muammar Mohammed Abu Minyar Gaddafi died in Libya today 20 October 2011. Muammar Gaddafi was wanted by the ICC for crimes against humanity allegedly committed in Libya since 15 February 2011 onwards.
ICC warrants of arrest remain outstanding for Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi, former Libyan government spokesman and son of Muammar Gaddafi, and Abdullah Al-Senussi, former director of military intelligence. At this time, there are varying, unconfirmed reports as to whether Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi and Abdullah Al-Senussi have been captured, killed or remain at large.
The ICC is the world's first and only permanent international court to prosecute war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.
Please find below latest media statements (I) and news articles (II) following this reported development.
Please also take note of the Coalition's policy on situations before the ICC (below), which explicitly states that the Coalition will not take a position on potential and current situations before the Court or situations under analysis. The Coalition, however, will continue to provide the most up-to-date information about the ICC.
I. MEDIA STATEMENTS
A. COALITION MEMBERS' STATEMENTS
1. "Libyans must see justice after death of Colonel al-Gaddafi," Amnesty International Press Release, 20 October 2011, http://www.amnesty.org/en/for-media/press-releases/libyans-must-see-justice-after-death-colonel-al-gaddafi-Â -2011-10-20
"The reported death of Colonel Mu'ammar al-Gaddafi would bring to a close a chapter of Libya's history marked by repression and abuse but does not end the story, Amnesty International said today.
'The legacy of repression and abuse from Colonel Mu'ammar al-Gaddafi's rule will not end until there is a full accounting for the past and human rights are embedded in Libya's new institutions,' said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Deputy Director for North Africa and the Middle East at Amnesty International.
'Colonel al-Gaddafi's death must not stop his victims in Libya from seeing justice being done. The many Libyan officials suspected of serious human rights violations committed during and before this year's uprising, including the infamous Abu Salim prison massacre in 1996, must answer for their crimes.'
'The new authorities must make a complete break from the culture of abuse that Colonel al-Gaddafi's regime perpetuated and initiate the human rights reforms that are urgently needed in the country.'
Amnesty International called on the NTC to make public information about how Colonel al-Gaddafi died, making the full facts available to the Libyan people.
The organization said it was essential to conduct a full, independent and impartial inquiry to establish the circumstances of Colonel al-Gaddafi's death.
Amnesty International called on the NTC to ensure that all those suspected of human rights abuses and war crimes, including Colonel al-Gaddafi's inner circle and family members, are treated humanely and, if captured, given fair trials...."
2. "Libya: New Era Needs Focus on Rights," Human Rights Watch Press Release, 20 October 2011, http://www.hrw.org/news/2011/10/20/libya-new-era-needs-focus-rights
"(Sirte) - The end of Muammar Gaddafi's 42-year rule over Libya offers a unique opportunity for the country to end an extraordinarily longera of human rights abuses, Human Rights Watch said today. Media reports say forces of the National Transitional Council (NTC) or a NATO air strike wounded Gaddafi during fighting in his hometown of Sirte on October 20, 2011. He died soon after, according to these sources.
'With the end of Muammar Gaddafi's brutal rule, the Libyan people now deserve to see justice for the many crimes committed on his watch,' said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch. 'For four decades Libyans faced terror and repression. Gaddafi's death doesn't lessen the need for Libyans to learn the truth about those horrendous decades and see other high-level officials implicated in abuses fairly brought to justice.'....
Libya's new leaders will have an unprecedented opportunity to lead by example on human rights, including by protecting basic rights in a new constitution. The new authorities will be in a position to ratify and put into practice a host of international legal and human rights instruments and treaties that the Gaddafi regime did not. Penal and criminal procedure codes, as well as laws restricting association, expression, and political parties, will require extensive revision if Libyan laws are to be brought into line with international human rights standards, and the judicial system and security services will require profound reorganization, reform, and training.
The council should take immediate steps to stop revenge attacks, including looting and destruction of property in Sirte, long a Gaddafi stronghold, as well as Bani Walid, which the NTC forces captured on October 17. It should send a strong message that revenge attacks on Gaddafi supporters and on their property in these cities will be investigated and prosecuted. The council should also investigate the circumstances leading to the death of Gaddafi, including whether he was killed while in detention, which would constitute a serious violation of the laws of war. Human Rights Watch called on the NTC to set up an internationally supervised autopsy to establish Gaddafi's cause of death.
The conflict between the Gaddafi government and rebel forces, which began in February 2011 following mass popular demonstrations against Gaddafi's rule, witnessed serious abuses by Gaddafi forces, including executions, indiscriminate attacks on civilian areas, and widespread arrests and disappearances of anti-government demonstrators and political opponents. Opposition rebels who took up arms against Gaddafi also have committed revenge attacks in some areas they now control and against groups they blame for aiding Gaddafi in his repression.
The NTC urgently should speak out against such revenge attacks and ensure there is a justice system in place that can investigate and punish them quickly and fairly. As quickly as possible, it needs to develop the groundwork for truth, reconciliation, and transitional justice. The people of Libya need prompt reassurance that 42 years of abuses will not go unpunished, no matter how long the process may take, but that the process will be fair and open.
Any prosecution of former government and military officials for human rights abuses must in all cases protect the due process rights of the accused, and exclude the possibility of cruel and inhuman punishment, including the death penalty. The NTC should ensure that its forces treat all suspects in custody humanely and brings them before a judge, in accordance with international human rights and humanitarian law. The transitional government officials also should cooperate with the International Criminal Court (ICC), including with respect to the two outstanding arrest warrants issued against Gaddafi officials.
On March 3 the ICC opened an investigation into crimes committed in Libya since February 15. In resolution 1970 of February 26, the UN Security Council had referred the situation there to the ICC. The resolution requires cooperation with any ICC investigation into serious crimes committed in Libya.
On June 27 the ICC judges authorized three arrest warrants, for Muammar Gaddafi, his son Seif al-Islam Gaddafi, and Libya's intelligence chief, Abdullah Sanussi. The three were charged with crimes against humanity for their roles in attacks on civilians, including peaceful demonstrators. These attacks were committed in Tripoli, Benghazi, Misrata, and other locations in Libya.
'The drafting of a new constitution offers a golden opportunity for positive change in Libya,' Whitson said. 'The best way to ensure the Gaddafi nightmare is never repeated is to build a new Libya based on the rule of law and respect for the rights of all people, and to prosecute those who take justice into their own hands.'"
B. EU STATEMENT
1. "Statement by High Representative Catherine Ashton on the fall of Sirte and reports of the death of Colonel Gaddafi," High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice President of the Commission, Brussels, 20 October 2011, http://www.coalitionfortheicc.org/documents/125455.pdf
"Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the Commission, made today the following statement:
'The fall of Sirte marks the end of the Gaddafi era. Libya is now under the full control of National Transitional Council forces. After ten months of extraordinary sacrifices, the Libyan people can say with pride and confidence that they have shaken off a regime that terrorised and oppressed for more than 40 years. They can now look to the future.
Reports of Colonel Gaddafi's death have not yet been confirmed. If confirmed, his death brings closure to a tragic period in the lives of so many Libyans.
Libya is entering a process of transition. It is important that its leadership unites to build a democratic future for the country in full respect for human rights. While the crimes of the past must be addressed, the leadership must also seek a path of national reconciliation. The EU has stood by the Libyan people during these struggles. We have been present in Tripoli and Benghazi. We have provided substantial humanitarian assistance. We have already supported civil society and we are now working with international partners to respond to Libya's post-conflict needs. The EU will remain a strong and committed partner in the future.'...."
II. RELATED NEWS AND OPINIONS
1. "Qaddafi Is Killed as Libyan Forces Take Surt," Kareem Fahim and Rick Gladstone, New York Times, 20 October 2011, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/21/world/africa/qaddafi-is-killed-as-libyan-forces-take-surt.html?hp
2. "Gadhafi believed slain after convoy strike, NATO official says," CNN, 20 October 2011, http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2011/10/20/libyan-fighters-say-they-have-captured-gadhafi/
3. "Fall of the Gaddafis: Dead dictator's children have either been killed or fled Libya," Vanessa Allen, Mail Online, 20 October 2011, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2051503/Gaddafi-dead-Dictators-children-killed-fled-Libya.html#ixzz1bMBl8Mlt
4. "Saif Gaddafi on the run, Libyan prime minister says," Melissa Bell, The Washington Post blogPOST, 20 October 2011, http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/blogpost/post/saif-gaddafi-reported-dead-by-al-arabiya/2011/10/20/gIQApxun0L_blog.html
5. "Death of Libya's Gaddafi avoids awkward trial," Peter Apps, Reuters, 20 October 2011, http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/10/20/us-libya-gaddafi-trial-idUSTRE79J49320111020
6. "Gadhafi Will Tell No Tale in Court," Joe DeCapua, Voice of America News, 20 October 2011, http://www.voanews.com/english/news/africa/decapua-libya-legal-20oct11-132249963.html
7. "A new beginning for Libya," Stefan Wolff, Reuters, 20 October 2011, http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/10/20/idUS112423652020111020
8. "Gaddafi et al. - local or international justice?," Geraldine Coughlan, Radio Netherlands Worldwide, 20 October 2011, http://www.rnw.nl/international-justice/article/gaddafi-et-al-â€“-local-or-international-justice
CICC's policy on the referral and prosecution of situations before the ICC:
The Coalition for the ICC is not an organ of the court. The CICC is an independent NGO movement dedicated to the establishment of the International Criminal Court as a fair, effective, and independent international organization. The Coalition will continue to provide the most up-to date information about the ICC and to help coordinate global action to effectively implement the Rome Statute of the ICC. The Coalition will also endeavor to respond to basic queries and to raise awareness about the ICC's trigger mechanisms and procedures, as they develop. The Coalition as a whole, and its secretariat, do not endorse or promote specific investigations or prosecutions or take a position on situations before the ICC. However, individual CICC members may endorse referrals, provide legal and other support on investigations, or develop partnerships with local and other organizations in the course of their efforts.
Communications to the ICC can be sent to:
P.O. Box 19519
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