The International Criminal Court issued yesterday three arrest warrants for Muammar Gaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam and his brother-in-law Abdullah al-Senussi for crimes against humanity based on political grounds, and murder and persecution, committed from February 15, 2011 onwards by the Libyan authorities.
The application for the warrant, issued in May by the Office of the Prosecutor Luis Moren-Ocampo, stated that these crimes constituted “widespread and systematic attacks against a civilian population, in particular demonstrators and alleged dissidents.” In the document, Gaddafi is stated to have authorized the mobilization of security forces against protesters, along with the recruitment of mercenaries.
In his television addresses, Gaddafi called protesters “rats” and threatened “to clean Libya inch by inch, house by house, small street by small street, individual by individual, corner by corner until the country is clean from all garbage and dirt.” Victims’ relatives were permitted to retrieve bodies of civilians killed in demonstrations only if they signed a paper stating that the victims were “rats”.
Not even cemeteries and burial sites were spared by the Libyan regime: according to the document, bodies were dug up, loaded on trucks and taken away. On April 30, Gaddafi asked those who claim that the regime was killing its own people to show him the bodies or autopsies or burial sites.
Two years ago, the International Criminal Court issued a warrant of arrest for another head of state, Omar al-Bashir of Sudan, for his responsibility in crimes of genocide against the Fur, Masali and Zaghawa ethnic groups, crimes against humanity and war crimes.
Ahmad Harun, former minister of State for the Interior and today governor of the South Kordofan region is quoted as publicly acknowledging his mission to destroy specific ethnic groups, stating that al-Bashir had given him the power to kill whomever he wanted and that, “for the sake of Darfur, they were ready to kill three quarters of the people in Darfur, so that one quarter could live.”
The document also reported how thousands of women and girls were, and continue to be, raped in Darfur by members of Bashir’s militias.
Survivors from the attacks by government-related militias are forced into inhospitable terrain to then starve to death, while they are told slogans like “the Fur are slaves, we will kill them”; “You are Zaghawa tribe, you are slaves”;”You are blacks, no blacks can stay here, and no black can stay in Sudan… The power of al-Bashir belongs to the Arabs and we will kill you until the end.”