Qaddafi's Death Denies Justice for Libyan People
Libyans rejoiced through the streets of Sirte and Tripoli yesterday as reports came through that Mummar Qaddafi was captured and then killed. However, the liberation of Sirte came at the expense of justice and accountability for the victims of Qaddafi's terror.
Don Kraus, CEO of Citizens for Global Solutions, stated, "The Libyan people deserved to see Qaddafi put on trial before the International Criminal Court in the Hague to answer for the horrendous crimes committed against civilians. His death on the battlefield denies his victims the redress they are owed. No leader should be allowed to use helicopter gunships and heave weapons and sniper on unarmed protestors."
This extrajudicial killing represents a lost opportunity for the international community to make an example out of Qaddafi at the ICC, where victims would have had the chance to bring forth their case for possible retribution and a clear signal would have been sent to leaders throughout the world that human rights violations will not go unaccounted for. As Libya's National Transitional Council works to reform and rebuild the government, the capture and hand-off of Qaddafi to the ICC could have provided legitimacy, not just to the NTC, but to the reputation for justice and liberty of the entirety of post-revolutionary Libya.
The NTC still has a chance to gain this legitimacy and support international justice by turning over Muammar Qaddafi's son, Saif al-Islam, to the ICC. Kraus said, "By sending Saif al-Islam to the ICC for trial, it will show other tyrants and human rights abusers around the world that even if they are heads of state, they will not enjoy immunity from international law, and will be held responsible for their crimes."
Libya and the NTC have a responsibility to adhere to and promote international law by abstaining from extrajudicial killings that inhibit justice for Libyan citizens. Only then will this new government truly join its place in the world of freer, more democratic societies.
Click here to read CGS's press release on the death of Qaddafi.
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