ICC may investigate migrant crimes in Libya

ICC may investigate migrant crimes in Libya

Fatou Bensouda, prosecutor, International Criminal Court (ICC), says there is a possibility of opening an investigation into migrant-related crimes in Libya.

Bensouda, who made this statement while speaking to the United Nations security council expressed alarm at the inhumane detention of migrants in Libya.

Libya is the major route used by migrants trying to reach Europe by sea.

According to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), 20,000 migrants are held by criminal gangs in irregular detention centers in Libya and growing numbers of migrants are traded in slave markets before being held for ransom, forced labour or sexual exploitation.

The UN migration agency said more than 1,000 migrants have been reported dead or missing in the Mediterranean this year, while an unknown number perish in the desert.

“My office is collecting and analyzing information related to serious and widespread crimes allegedly committed against migrants attempting to transit through Libya.

“I take this opportunity before the council to declare that my office is carefully examining the feasibility of opening an investigation into migrant-related crimes in Libya should the court’s jurisdictional requirements be met.

NAN reports that in 2011, the council asked the court to investigate crimes committed since the start of an uprising the same year that led to the fall of leader, Muammar Gaddafi.

The ICC has international jurisdiction to prosecute genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in member states or if a situation is referred by the UN security council.  

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