The British Foreign Secretary, William Hague, has today confirmed the United Kingdom’s support for the Libyan people. The Foreign Secretary stated the United Kingdom’s commitment to see a “more peaceful and prosperous future, and freer future, for the people of Libya commence as soon as possible”. As a step towards such a future, the Foreign Secretary announced that the Libyan Peoples’ Bureau in London will be closed and that the remaining Libyan diplomats have been expelled. He confirmed that the United Kingdom no longer recognizes the Gaddafi state as legitimate and that the United Kingdom “will deal with the NTC on the same basis as other governments around the world”.
The Foreign Secretary further confirmed that the United Kingdom “strongly support[s] the work of the [International] Criminal Court” and that the “ideal solution” is for Gaddafi to face trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Lawyers for Justice in Libya (LFJL) welcomes this statement and the strong statement by the ICC made on Monday reiterating that Gaddafi could not be allowed to escape justice and must be arrested. Any solution that grants impunity to the perpetrators of crimes against humanity, and those responsible for the widespread atrocities, cannot be tolerated.
The referral to the ICC is pursuant to UN Security Council Resolution 1970 and is therefore binding on all member states of the United Nations. LFJL reminds all parties concerned of their obligations under the United Nations Charter to respect Security Council resolutions. Every country has an obligation to deny those named in the arrest warrants safe haven and, if they seek to enter the territory of such country, to arrest them and surrender them to the ICC.
LFLJ sees this process as an important step towards Libya becoming a society governed by rule of law. LFJL is committed to defending rights of all Libyans, and will continue to support all lawful prosecution of those responsible for human rights violations. We believe that there can be no enduring peace in Libya without justice for the people of Libya.