Libya / Capture of Saif al-Islam: NPWJ calls for fair trial

19 Nov, 2011 | Press Releases

Statement by Alison Smith, Legal Counsel of No Peace Without Justice:

“After weeks of waiting, months of conflict and years of repression, finally Saif al-Islam Gaddafi has been captured.  As one of the accused masterminds behind the brutal attacks against the civilian population in Libya, it is critical that he be held to account in a fair trial that respects and upholds international standards.

“No Peace Without Justice and the Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty, welcome the capture of Saif al-Islam Gaddafi and remind those holding him pending the formation of the Libyan Government of the need to ensure he is treated humanely and properly, in accordance with international standards. We are heartened by the actions taken to protect him so far and look forward to that continuing.

“We also welcome the expressed intention of the Libyan authorities to cooperate with the International Criminal Court in respect of Saif al-Islam’s case. According to the principle of complementarity, the ICC has jurisdiction only if the Libyan authorities are unable or unwilling to investigate and prosecute the crimes of which Saif al-Islam has been accused. They are certainly willing; if they are unable for whatever reason, we expect Saif al-Islam to be transferred to The Hague to face trial before the ICC.

“In any event, we call on the international community to support Libya to fulfil its obligations either to investigate or prosecute or to transfer Saif al-Islam to face trial before the ICC. We urge the ICC to be ready to try Saif al-Islam themselves, preferably in Libya, by ensuring it is ready to establish a field presence and begin outreach to victims and the affected communities immediately. We further call on Libya and the international community to intensify efforts either to arrest al-Senussi or determine definitively that he has died.

“Today is a critical day for the victims in Libya; it is just the beginning of their long journey to obtain justice and redress. We must support them and support Libya in their efforts to secure justice, the rule of law, democracy and prosperity.”

For further information, please contact Alison Smith, phone +32 2 548 39 12, email or Nicola Giovannini, phone +32-2-548-3915, email