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They demand that CPI investigate abuses against migrants in Libya


THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) – Human rights activists presented an evidence folder to the International Criminal Court on Tuesday to demand that it investigate Libya for possible “crimes against humanity.”

The folder, which is confidential, is the latest attempt to pressure ICC prosecutors to investigate the treatment of migrants who launch into the dangerous crossing of the Mediterranean in smugglers’ boats.

In 2019, a group of lawyers called on the ICC to investigate the migration policy of the European Union and argued that EU officials are knowingly responsible for the deaths of migrants on land and at sea, as well as liable for rape. and torture of migrants by the Libyan coast guard, funded and trained at the expense of European taxpayers.

The folder sent to the ICC on Tuesday urges prosecutors to investigate “Libyan armed groups, militias and state actors” for crimes including “arbitrary detention, torture, murder, persecution, sexual violence and enslavement.” He names militia chiefs among 19 other suspects.

“The extreme magnitude, systemic nature and gravity of the abuses suffered by migrants and refugees in Libya generate the jurisdiction of the ICC,” said Dorine Llanta, of the International Federation for Human Rights. “Our analysis of reliable information from identified sources and survivor testimonies clearly reveals that many of these abuses may constitute crimes against humanity.”

The groups that sent the material to the ICC said in a statement that it is based on interviews with 14 survivors outside Libya and on reports from the UN and other organizations. They said that migrants in Libya face a “continuous cycle of widespread and systematic abuse.”

They say the exploitation of migrants, which includes “enslavement, extortion and torture, has become a major source of income in the conflict-ridden Libyan economy.”

The ICC launched an investigation in Libya a decade ago into the violent crackdown on dissent by then-dictator Moammar Gaddafi. The caudillo was one of those named as a suspect by the court, but was captured and killed by rebels before he could answer to justice in The Hague.

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