African Human Rights Court Castigates Libya for Violating Saif Al-Islam Kadhafi’s Rights to Liberty and Security of Person

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Friday, August 26, 2016
Konstantinos D Magliveras
When the popular revolts in the Arab world, collectively known as the Arab Spring, reached Libya and culminated in the Revolution of February 17, 2011, the Kadhafi regime, then in power, replied, as was to be expected, forcefully and tried to suppress it. The situation soon evolved into a civil war resulting in large-scale violence and the commission of heinous crimes. In November 2011, the Kadhafi regime collapsed: the Colonel himself met a most violent death, his son Saif Al-Islam was captured and has since been held in custody by militias in Zintan, a town southwest of Tripoli, while his brother in law Abdullah Al-Senussi fled the country (he was later extradited to Libya by Mauritania). This situation, as regards both the criminal justice and the humanitarian law/human rights aspects, has been addressed at a global, regional (African) and domestic level. Although in other instances this multiple handling might have been desirable or even appropriate, in the case of Libya it has arguably led to a patchwork and the end result has still not been achieved, despite being such a high-profile case.