IL Newswire

Will the ICC Pursue an Investigation Into Crimes Against Migrants?

On 8 May 2017, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Fatou Bensouda brief the United Nations Security Council on Libya and announced that the Court may consider prosecuting crimes in Libya against migrants. Libya has become a flashpoint in the ongoing migrant crisis in the Mediterranean, and reports continue to surface of abuse against those seeking to cross the Mediterranean. 

Libya has become the main transit point from North Africa into Italy and beyond, but the transit centers and camps near Misurata are rife with violence. The political climate in Libya is still extremely unstable as a result of the Arab Spring several years ago, which Prosecutor Bensouda cites as complicating the situation with refugees. At the UNSC briefing, "Ms. Bensouda said that reports indicate the country is at risk of returning to widespread conflict, and such an outcome would not bode well for the rule of law in Libya". The International Organization for Migration states that "migrants presently experience extreme insecurity in Libya, including arbitrary arrest by non-State actors, detention for indefinite periods of time, bonded labor, harassment and general exploitation." Ms. Bensouda said that her office is continuing to collect information of this nature to determine whether or not it is feasible to open an investigation against these alleged crimes.

For more information, see this report or the attached above hyperlinks