Is Gaddafi headed for The Netherlands?

Is Gaddafi going to end up paying an unintended visit to The Netherlands in the near future?

It certainly looks possible. 

Of course he and others in the Libyan government are now busy sounding off about how the International Criminal Court at The Hague can't touch them (copyright: Sudan's ICC-indicted President Bashir, the court’s number one denier). But this defiance is now almost customary among renegade leaders.

He, his high-profile son Saif and military intelligence chief Abdullah Senussi are already marked men. If, as expected, the ICC issues arrest warrants, we may yet see the collapse of the Libyan regime within a comparatively short time. (Within the year? Two years? Time will tell …).

I noticed that one of the lines of defiance being used by Libyan government officials yesterday was that Libya was being singled out and that Syria was getting off scot-free. Good point. If Libyan officials would like to push for a greater “equality” of international justice in this respect they could support Amnesty’s e-petition for Syria to be referred to the ICC as well.

The request for arrest warrants has come comparatively early in this conflict and is surely a sign that the net is starting to close in early on those suspected of war crimes and crimes against humanity. In this sense, the promise of the ICC, a hard-won product of the late 20th century (about which Amnesty campaigned long and hard), is starting to come true in the 21st century.

Colonel Gaddafi might like to issue defiant declarations to Nato and others that he’s in a place where “you can’t reach me”, but I suspect that the ICC’s Luis Moreno-Ocampo will see this for the empty bluster it is.

Meanwhile, later this week domestic justice is about to catch up with Egypt’s former Interior Minister Habib El Adly and six close aides, with the seven set to go on trial in Cairo on charges arising from the killings of protesters. Amnesty also has a door-stopper (123-page) report out this week on human rights abuses that occurred during Egypt’s spring uprising. It’s published late on Wednesday night. I’ll blog about it on Thursday.

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Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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