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Libya urged to act 'without further delay' on ICC call for Saif Gaddafi to be handed over

Amnesty International has said that the Libyan authorities must act “without further delay” on yesterday’s call by the International Criminal Court (ICC) ordering Libya to surrender Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi.

Since his capture in November, Saif al-Islam has been held in isolation in a secret location in the town of Zintan without effective access to a lawyer or facilities to communicate with his family. Saif al-Islam is wanted for crimes against humanity in connection to the brutal crackdown on demonstrations by his father's government.

The justice system in Libya continues to be virtually paralysed, said Amnesty, and criminal proceedings are yet to start against thousands of detainees, held mainly outside the framework of the law and accused of war crimes and other violations in relation to the conflict. The vast majority of detainees have had no access to lawyers and Amnesty is concerned that detainees have been forced to sign and / or thumb-print “confessions” extracted under torture or duress.

Amnesty International Justice Team Head Marek Marczyński said:

“This clear ruling by the ICC judges should effectively bring an end to the long-running saga over the fate of Saif al-Islam.

“Libya must act on the ICC’s decision and surrender Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi without further delay. An unfair trial before a Libyan court where the accused could face the death penalty is no way to guarantee justice and accountability.

“The ICC has indicated that it could refer any failure of the Libyan government to comply with the court’s ruling to the UN Security Council.

“In the absence of a functioning Libyan court system and for as long as the Libyan justice system remains weak and unable to conduct effective investigations, the ICC will be crucial in delivering accountability in Libya.”

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