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ICC SILENCE ON GADDAFI? October 27, 2011

Posted by wmmbb in North Africa, Social Environment.

The cold blooded murder of Gaddafi, albeit claimed as a revenge killing, is but one of the numerous but unquantified deaths that have resulted from the decision of the UN Security Council and from the involvement of NATO.

The extent of NATO’s involvement in Gaddafi’s murder and the number of people, both combatants and non-combants killed as a consequence of foreign involvement in the Libyan civil war goes unrecorded and unquestioned. We do not expect such inquiry to engaged in the Western Media, which have for most part long since acting as watchdogs for accountability and democracy, or else have digested the government propaganda they have been fed without awareness. Many media consumers respond similarly. Even when questions are raised, for example about the integrity of war to protect civilians, the story has quickly moved on.

The silence, and perhaps quiescence of the International Criminal Court is more troubling that the vapidity of the reinforcement of the advertising mantras and cosmetic consumerism of encompassing Western media as it comforts it addicts. Nonetheless as Alexander MEZYAEV there are issues of international law to be addressed even as much of the video footage of Gaddafi’s killing could be fake. He observes:

Russia`s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called for a thorough investigation in to Gaddafi`s death. The world`s leading human rights organization, Amnesty International, commented on the event. Meanwhile, the International Criminal Court keeps silence. Why?…

At the moment Gaddafi was captured he was still alive. After the capture he was dead – the video footage shows him having a bullet hole in his left temple. This is enough to qualify his killing as a war crime.

In March the UN Security Council (UNSC) admitted that Libya was in grip of an armed conflict, which means that all the sides involved in the conflict should abide to the Geneva Conventions of 1949, including Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field. Its Article 3 says: “Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed ‘ hors de combat ‘ by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, color, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria”. Otherwise, all actions causing the death of a captive should be viewed as a ‘serious violation’ of the Convention. The word serious in this context is a legal definition which serves to differentiate between common violations the ICC does not have to deal with, and grave crimes which rightly fall under the Court`s jurisdiction. So, what was demonstrated on TV about Gaddafi`s death, is a serious violation of the norms of international law.

The rule of law can be messy and inconvenient, at least in the short term. But what kind of society will now emerge in Libya after these events? Those consequences might not interest those who seek to gain strategic advantages, such as access to oil, as they never do. If so, they may be proved very quickly to be short sighted. When the focus is widened to the larger picture eventually all people are involved.

These statements have been said before – and better:


Smiley and West review the “assassination” of Gaddafi.

Seumas Milne in The Guardian reviews the circumstances of Gaddafi’s death.

Inside Story at al Jazeera provides a summary of events related to Gaddafi’s death.



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