International Criminal Court Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda] renewed her calls[statement] to the Libyan government on Wednesday for the immediate arrest and surrender of Mahmoud Mustafa Busayf al-Werfalli, who is alleged to have participated in war crimes in Libya. Specifically, al-Werfalli is suspected of directly participating in seven incidents involving the deaths of 33 individuals. Stating that Libya has the primary responsibility to arrest al-Werfalli and surrender him to the custody of the ICC, Bensouda urged Libya authorities to “use all means in their reach to do so immediately.” Bensouda expressed further concerns regarding conflicting reports about the arrest of al-Werfalli. On the one hand, the Libyan National Army) released an official statement saying that it has arrested al-Werfalli and has placed him under investigation. On the other hand, Bensouda said that she received directly contradictory reports of al-Werfalli being still at large and involved in additional killings. Bensouda expressed her grave concern about
On a closing note, Bensouda also appealed all UN Member States, including those of the UN Security Council , to aid Libya in its efforts to arrest and surrender al-Werfalli to ICC without delay.
Last month, Bensouda issued her first statement calling for the immediate arrest and surrender of al-Werfalli, following the issuance of an arrest warrant. This statement reiterates that call. Libya has remained politically unstable since the 2011 deposition of Muammar Gaddafi and subsequent civil war . In July the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein expressed concernsthat the Libyan National Army has committed and will continue to commit summary executions of men that have been taken prisoner. In November Bensouda informed the Security Council that the ICC wants to significantly expand investigations in Libya in 2017. The ICC began work in Libya in 2011 to investigate crimes against humanity, including murder and persecution. In September 2016 the UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, Kate Gilmore , spoke on the deteriorating human rights situation in Libya and called for accountability and reform. In May of last year Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported that Islamic State militants had executed 49 people in the Libyan city of Sirte since seizing control in February 2015. In February 2016 the UN released a report detailing a “litany of violations and abuses” being committed by both state and non-state actors in Libya that may amount to war crimes
As carried in JURIST on 15.9.17