Arrest warrants have been issued for five alleged suspects in crimes against migrants in Libya, as established by the International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor, Karim Khan.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor, Karim Khan has issued arrest warrants for five alleged suspects in crimes against migrants in Libya. The suspects are accused of crimes including murder, torture, and rape. This is the first step in the ICC’s investigation into the situation in Libya, and hopefully will lead to justice for the victims of these horrific crimes, An Italian news report revealed.
The Italian newspaper report that broke the story of the alleged collusion between Russian intelligence and far-right political parties in Europe named a number of individuals it said were involved in the scandal.
While the identities of these individuals have not been released to the public, the report did say that some of them may be embarrassing to a number of European governments – including Malta – that have had dealings with them in the past.
While the full extent of the collusion between the Russian intelligence services and far-right parties in Europe is not yet known, this scandal has already caused a great deal of embarrassment for those who are thought to be involved. It remains to be seen how far-reaching the implications of this scandal will be.
The report added that the names will be announced once Khan’s requests are approved by the ICC, saying that if arrest warrants are issued as expected, “many governments – including Italy, Malta, France, Turkey and Russia – will find themselves more than embarrassed to cooperate in arresting the individuals”.
The report went on to say that if the arrest warrants are issued, it will put significant pressure on the countries involved to extradite the individuals named to the ICC for trial.
The requests are related to issues already subject to sanctions by the United Nations, the European Union, and the United States. Until recently, the ICC considered itself virtually incapable of investigating human traffickers, given its jurisdiction to prosecute crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and crimes of aggression.
However, with the adoption of the Rome Statute in 1998, the ICC was given explicit jurisdiction to prosecute human trafficking cases. This jurisdiction includes cases of forced labor, sexual slavery, and the trafficking of children.
In a recent report, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein warned that crimes against migrants in Libya may constitute crimes against humanity and war crimes, paving the way for the International Criminal Court (ICC) to take action against those involved. On his first visit to Libya, High Commissioner Khan announced that he would submit more requests for arrest warrants.
“The situation is especially worrisome given the high level of impunity for these crimes,” High Commissioner Khan said. “In many cases, the victims are migrants who are fleeing war and persecution in their own countries and are seeking safety and protection in Europe. Instead, they are finding themselves trapped in a cycle of exploitation and abuse.”
Khan spent several days in Tripoli this month, during which he held a series of meetings with Libyan officials. He then submitted a report to the Security Council on the outcome of his meetings and field observations.
The report included information on mass graves he visited in Tarhuna, south of Tripoli, which he described as horrific. Khan also stressed the need for ending impunity while upholding the authority of the Libyan judiciary to try any criminal in his talks with the Libyan parties.