Report of the International Commission of Inquiry in Libya

Human Rights Council
1 June 2011
(…) In its resolution 1970 (2011), the Security Council referred the situation in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court pursuant to the Rome Statute. It has therefore vested primary jurisdiction with respect to the determination of criminal responsibility with the International Criminal Court. It is in this perspective that the commission has consulted with the Court, but has not to date shared information about its findings. The determination of individual criminal responsibility and command responsibility for both sides requires further investigation and corroboration of certain facts ascertained by the commission. Nonetheless, in the present report, the commission identifies a number of violations that have led it to the conclusion that international crimes, and specifically crimes against humanity and war crimes, have been committed in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.
The commission has found that there have been acts constituting murder, imprisonment, other forms of severe deprivation of physical liberty in violation of fundamental rules of international law, torture, persecution, enforced disappearance and sexual abuse that were committed by Government forces as part of a widespread or systematic attack against a civilian population with knowledge of the attack. Such acts fall within the meaning of “crimes against humanity”.
The commission has found that there have been many serious violations of international humanitarian law committed by Government forces amounting to “war crimes”. Under the listing of “war crimes” in the Rome Statute applicable to non-international armed conflict, the commission has identified violations involving violence to life and person, outrages upon personal dignity in particular humiliating and degrading treatment, intentionally directing attacks against protected persons and targets including civilian structures, medical units and transport using the distinctive emblems of the Geneva Conventions.
The commission also received considerable information concerning indiscriminate attacks on civilians and civilian objects (including protected objects, such as mosques, buildings of cultural significance and hospitals) and attacks on humanitarian related personnel and transport; further investigation would, however, be required to determine whether those attacks on civilians and civilian objects amounted to “intentional targeting” within the meaning of the Rome Statute. Further investigation would also be required in relation to whether children under 15 years of age were conscripted into or enlisted in armed forces or groups, or used them to participate actively in hostilities, as well as into allegations of rape during the conflict.
The consistent pattern of violations identified creates an inference that they were carried out as a result of policy decisions by Colonel Qadhafi and members of his inner circle. Further investigation is required in relation to making definitive findings with regard to the identity of those responsible for the crimes committed. The commission received some information concerning individual perpetrators of crimes, but more investigation is also required on this issue.
The commission received fewer reports of facts that would amount to the commission of international crimes by forces connected with the opposition. It has established that some acts of torture and cruel treatment and some outrages upon personal dignity in particular humiliating and degrading treatment have been committed by opposition armed forces, in particular against persons in detention, migrant workers and those believed to be mercenaries. Under the Rome Statute, those that occurred during the period of armed conflict constitute war crimes. Further investigation would be required into alleged acts of rape and into whether children under the age of 15 years were conscripted into or enlisted in armed forces or groups, or used them to participate actively in hostilities.
See full report.