Archives For International Criminal Court

Instigator of racist violence, ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo,  confirmed late on Sunday that Saif al-Islam Gaddafi had been detained by “rebel special forces” according to The Telegraph.

“Saif was captured in Libya,” he said.

“We have confidential information from different sources that we have within Libya confirming this.”

Libyan rebels had said earlier that they had detained Saif and Colonel Gaddafi’s eldest son Mohammed Al-Gaddafi.

According to BBC correspondent in Tripoli:

and

Saif’s brother Mohammed was also reportedly captured, but apparently managed to escape.

This is not the first time the heavily compromised alleged rapist (who was instrumental in spreading the false reports about mercenaries, mass rape and viagra) the has been involved in psyops in Libya.

Human Rights Investigations again demands his immediate resignation.

Update: Release from Reuters suggests some confusion within the ICC and the office of the prosecutor:

“There was no official confirmation from the National Transitional Council,” ICC official Fadi el-Abdallah said. “Different answers were given. That was a little ambiguous.”

He added that statements from both the ICC and the prosecutor on Monday said they had received information about the arrest but that they were trying to confirm this.

The office of the prosecutor, which told Reuters early on Monday it had confirmation from sources that Saif had been arrested, has not yet responded to requests for comment.

Update (23 August): Mahmud Jibril tells Al Jazeera in all transparency, three days ago one of the revolutionaries from Tripoli told him that Saif had been captured. Mahmud Jibril asked him if he had carried out the detention and was told – no another group. Mahmud Jibril told him to go to the place where Saif was kept to confirm after he saw him. The revolutionary said he would ring back in 30 minutes.  Mahmud Jibril rang Mustafa Abdel Jalil and told him that there was an unconfirmed report Saif had been captured but would have to wait for confimration. But the revolutionary in Tripoli did not ring back.

When Moreno Ocampo called he was told the reports received were not certain and unconfirmed. Ocampo was also told that the NTC would get back to him if it was confirmed as Mahmud Jibril believed some help would be required for security.

Mahmud Jibril confirmed that the report Saif wsas captured was very useful, including in ensuring more countries recognised the NTC and more embassies declared they had joined the rebels.

The NTC military spokesman Colonel Ahmad Bani also confirmed that Saif had never been under arrest and the news was not planned but did give good results including to surrenders of some brigades – in fact he said that they “won with this trick.”

According to ICC Presiding Judge at the Pre-trial Chamber II Ekaterina Trendafilova, Luis Moreno Ocampo has now missed the deadline for ensuring that 59 victims who have applied to appear before the court to raise their concerns on what they underwent during Kenya’s deadliest poll violence could actually be heard:

“The Prosecutor’s Request makes clear that the two-week deadline established by the 30 March 2011 Decision was simply disregarded or overlooked.”

According to reports, the victim’s evidence could have included detailed evidence of rape and sexual violence.

Of course, Luis Moreno Ocampo was cleared of charges of sexual misconduct himself – although the matter was so serious that a member of staff who “blew the whistle” by making an internal complaint against Mr Moreno-Ocampo — and who was then sacked by him — is to receive nearly £20,000 in “moral damages”, as well as compensatory damages approaching £100,000 – Damages and costs to be paid not by the prosecutor but by the International Criminal Court itself. (Click here and go to the appendix for more on the Luis Moreno Ocampo rape allegations).

Yesterday, Luis Moreno Ocampo had this to say:

Gadaffi himself decided to rape – and this is a new pattern, to control the population. Rape is a new aspect.”

He went on to say that if the Judges of the ICC were to issue warrants against Gadaffi this would mean that the rapes would stop.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, Chairman of the UN Human Rights Council and war crimes expert Cherif Bassiouni said:

People are accusing each other of a policy of rape. People are accusing mercenaries and foreign fighters of engaging in rape. I would like to say at this point its more of an hysterical social reaction. We have no evidence of it.”

Poonam Joshi of Amnesty International confirmed that in the areas where Amnesty workers who have been on the ground for several months in Eastern Libya and Misrata they “haven’t come across any hard evidence yet” of rape or sexual violence.

Even Liesel Gerntholtz, head of women’s rights at Human Rights Watch (partly funded by western governments and secretive off-shore trusts), which also investigated the charge of mass rape, said: “We have not been able to find evidence.”

Luis Moreno Ocampo has previously been accused of  bizaare behaviour and as Alex De Waal, co-director of Justice Africa has argued with regards to the decision to charge President Bashir with genocide:

“for nineteen years, President Bashir has sat on top of a government that has been responsible for incalculable crimes […] Two weeks ago, Moreno Ocampo succeeded in accusing Bashir of the crime for which he is not guilty. That is a remarkable feat.”

It is no surprise at all to HRI to hear that Justice Ekaterina has now reprimanded the Prosecutor, saying it was up to him to organise his office so as to meet deadlines issued by the court.

HRI fully supports the call for the immediate resignation of Luiz Moreno Ocampo issued by the legal editor of the Daily Telegraph, Joshua Rozenberg

Will the victims of the NATO bombing of Libya see justice?

Evidence about the nature of the weapons used and contemplated from the HRI investigation and others including the International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons is spreading through social media networks – but what can be done to ensure that:

1) Those who commit war crimes are prosecuted
2) The victims of the bombing of Libya get justice and 
3) The future use of cluster bombs by the forces involved in Libya is limited?

Although US and Qatari forces have insulated themselves from the ICC’s jurisdiction, those of other forces involved, importantly including those who have members in the NATO command structure, have not.

Although there are concerns about the way the current ICC prosecutor operates and his exclusive prosecution of Africans his reign is nearing its end and a new prosecutor may be less biased.

Although the USA refuses to sign the Convention against Cluster Munitions, most of the other members of the coalition have signed up. Notably, Italy has recently ratified and Naples is one of the main headquarters of the coalition operation in Libya.

Although the major “crime of aggression” is currently almost impossible to prosecute in international law, due mainly to the larger powers wishing to retain their right to attack weaker nations whenever they wish, other war crimes in international armed conflicts can be prosecuted. Indeed:

The domestic legislation of a large number of states provides for universal jurisdiction for grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions.

Although the mass media eagerly publishes any pro-war propaganda, social media, including blogs, facebook and twitter offer the opportunity for citizens to network, inform and support one another in the fight against human rights abuses and war crimes.

Although the specialised units to investigate war crimes in a number of countries (including Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, USA and Canada) are very slow in producing any results at all, the HRI investigation shows what can be achieved by a citizen-blog in a very short space of time.

Although the US investigation unit cost $2.6 million in 2008/09, the cost of setting up a unit in the UK is estimated as £1.34 million and the costs of investigation have been cited as the main obstacle to setting up units in other countries, the HRI investigation is currently entirely voluntary and expenses so far are minimal.

HRI is linking in with legal rights groups and human rights solicitors and will be publicising information about the best routes for the victims of the conflict in Libya to achieve justice and perpetrators of war crimes in this conflict to be prosecuted.

The investigation continues – to inform, to encourage debate – and also to gather evidence.

Will US and Qatari war crimes be investigated by the ICC?

As far as the HRI investigation into the cluster bombing of Misrata is concerned the crucial passage in today’s statement seeking arrest warrants for Muammar Abu Minya Gaddafi, Saif Al Islam Gaddafi and the Head of the Intelligence Abdullah Al Sanousi is:

The Office will further investigate allegations of massive rapes, war crimes committed by different parties during the armed conflict that started at the end of February, and attacks against sub-Saharan Africans wrongly perceived to be mercenaries. “There will be no impunity for such crimes in Libya,” said the Prosecutor.

We will see if Luis Moreno-Ocampo has the balls to thoroughly investigate the war crimes committed by coalition forces.

On the issue of the apparent targeting of Africans by the ICC, there is a denial in the Q&A section. This denial doesn’t really hold water. If Libya was guilty of the cluster bombing of Misrata, Gaddafi could be held responsible by the ICC, if Barack Obama or Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani are found to be responsible the ICC will not be able to prosecute them.

The reason for this is the following paragraph which the US insisted on before allowing the referral to the ICC:

6. Decides that nationals, current or former officials or personnel from a State outside the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya which is not a party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of that State for all alleged acts or omissions arising out of or related to operations in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya established or authorized by the Council, unless such exclusive jurisdiction has been expressly waived by the State.

USA and Qatari officials are not subject to the jurisdiction of the ICC unless their States waive their jurisdiction as they are not party to the Rome Statute.

Something seems to have been forgotten here by the American exceptionalists: something even the ancient Romans knew – the goddess Justicia is blind.

Speaking on 8th of May to National Public Radio U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Mark Ramsay had the following to say:

“We have absolutely irrefutable evidence that he [Gaddhafi] used likely mortar fire to drop cluster munitions on his own people for the express purpose of killing and injuring them.”

Maj. Gen. Mark F. Ramsay is the Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations and Intelligence, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, NATO, Casteau, Belgium.

This is a long way from Robert Gates’ earlier position on this issue, not to mention Hillary Clinton’s initial reaction (about which more later).

The claim here goes beyond saying Gaddhafi used cluster bombs “likely from mortar fire” to saying this was for the “express purpose” of killing and injuring his own people. Maj. Gen. Ramsay is suggesting NATO have a communications intercept – and one in which Gaddafi (or perhaps his officers) expressly order the use of cluster munitions to kill and injure his own people.

Why has this information not been released? Has this information been shared with the ICC and Louis Moreno Ocampo? How will this be assessed by the ICC?

Will the USA give evidence to the ICC regarding Misrata and how will this be squared with the use, stockpiling and transfer by the USA of millions of cluster bombs and of the use of about 1.2 million cluster bomblets by Israel?

HRI demands the immediate release of the absolutely irrefutable evidence mentioned by U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Mark Ramsay.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) is a permanent tribunal to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression (although it cannot currently exercise jurisdiction over the crime of aggression). It was set up in 2002.

The prosecutor of the ICC is Luis Moreno-Ocampo. Luis Moreno-Ocampo told the UN Security Council on May 4 that “crimes against humanity have been and continue to be committed in Libya,” but for now he is targeting just three people for arrest.

“I will request the judges to issue arrest warrants against three individuals who appear to bear the greatest criminal responsibility for crimes against humanity committed in the territory of Libya since February 15, 2011,” Moreno-Ocampo said.

It seems from media reports that he will issue arrest warrants for Gaddafi, his son Saif and the one other shortly.

It will be interesting to see whether the charges against Gaddafi will include the cluster bombing of Misrata.

We hope there will also be full investigation of any rebel, NATO or coalition war crimes.

To date, the ICC has only EVER charged people from Africa. What are the chances of anyone from the USA (Who do not accept its jurisdiction anyway) being charged?

Certain large human rights organisations, in particular Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, are wedded to this project so loathe to criticise it.

Nevertheless, Human Rights Investigations calls for

1) An end to the selective enforcement of human rights by the ICC which could be said to amount to institutional racism.

2) Human rights activists to organise themselves using the internet, blogs, twitter and all the other tools at our disposal to investigate and expose human rights abuses, especially the massive human rights abuses perpetrated by the richest and most powerful governments.

Update 19 July

The Associated Press reports the African Union has called on its members to disregard the International Criminal Court’s arrest warrant for Moammar Gadhafi, an official confirmed 2 July 2011. The decision was passed by the African Union 1 July stating that the warrant against Gadhafi “seriously complicates” efforts by the organization to find a solution to the Libyan crisis.

Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union Jean Ping also told reporters that the ICC is “discriminatory” and only goes after crimes committed in Africa, while ignoring those he says were committed by Western powers in places like Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Jean Ping - formerly Foreign Minister of Gabon and President of the General Assembly of the United Nations

“With this in mind, we recommend that the member states do not cooperate with the execution of this arrest warrant,” said the motion, which was shown to The Associated Press and whose passage was confirmed by Daniel Adugna, a spokesman in the AU commissioner’s office.