NEW YORK, Mar. 3, 2011—The international community should maintain the robust stance for accountability in Libya that it has shown in recent days, said the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) today after welcoming the decision of the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to open an investigation into the situation in Libya.
"Sustained international support for the court will be critical during what will certainly be a prolonged process," said ICTJ President David Tolbert. "Should the investigation lead to prosecutions, for example, the continuation of that support will be essential, not least in the enforcement of arrest warrants,” he said.
The Office of the Prosecutor has invited the submission of information, and has liaised with international bodies, states, and nongovernmental organizations to obtain information.
"The court's swift action to investigate alleged crimes against humanity relays a strong message to Libyan victims that justice is a priority," said Tolbert. "It is critical that any state or non-state actor in possession of information or evidence about serious violations being committed in Libya swiftly submit them to the prosecutor," he added.
By making this announcement, the prosecutor affirmed that there is a reasonable basis to believe that crimes against humanity have been committed in Libya since mid-February. He has named Colonel Muammar el-Qaddafi and members of his inner circle, including some of his sons, as those who might be among the most responsible.
The International Center for Transitional Justice works to redress and prevent the most severe violations of human rights by confronting legacies of mass abuse. ICTJ seeks holistic solutions to promote accountability and create just and peaceful societies. For more information, visit www.ictj.org.
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