ICC arrest warrants: An encouraging step for justice in Libya

May 18, 2023

[London, UK] - Libya Crimes Watch (LCW), Defender Center for Human Rights (CHRDA), and Lawyers for Justice in Libya (LFJL) welcome the recent announcement of arrest warrants by the International Criminal Court (ICC or the Court) against suspects allegedly involved in committing international crimes Libya. This development marks a promising first step towards accountability, redress for victims, and upholding justice.

Concrete steps must be taken to bring the accused to trial before the ICC, as arrest warrants alone do not achieve justice for victims. We urge the international community to support the ICC’s efforts to hold perpetrators accountable and bring justice to the victims, including by arresting wanted suspects within their jurisdiction to transfer them to the Court, and by calling on Libyan authorities to do the same.

In the case that the immediate arrest of the suspects against whom warrants have been issued is not possible, we call on the ICC to disclose their names to ensure transparency, as a result fostering public knowledge and confidence in ICC proceedings. The ICC should also take effective steps to ensure that victims can meaningfully participate in potential future proceedings.

These warrants should also not impede the ICC from investing further resources to issue additional warrants for other suspects most responsible for committing crimes against humanity and war crimes in Libya.

Finally, as human rights organisations working to document international crimes and human rights violations committed in Libya, we acknowledge the ICC Prosecutor’s commitment to strengthen engagement with Libyan authorities, as well as civil society in Libya. However, without a safe and enabling environment for civil society in Libya there can be no genuine cooperation. We also call on the Prosecutor to publicly acknowledge the growing reprisals and draconian regulations that put at risk the very existence of civil society operating inside Libya, and to demand that Libyan authorities cease this crackdown as an integral part of their cooperation with the ICC.

We remain committed to the pursuit of justice for victims of international crimes in Libya and will continue to work towards creating a culture of accountability in the country.


For further information, please contact:

Alexandra Azua - Communications Manager at LFJL

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