Saif al-Islam Gaddafi must be allowed to surrender to the International Criminal Court to face investigation for crimes against humanity, Amnesty International said today amid reports that the fugitive son of Colonel al-Gaddafi is willing to turn himself in.
The ICC prosecutors said today the Court is in indirect contact with Saif al-Islam over his possible surrender. Former Libyan intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi, who is also wanted for crimes against humanity by the ICC, is also reportedly prepared to face justice in The Hague.
"If reports are correct that Saif al-Islam Gaddafi and Abdullah al-Senussi are willing to hand themselves over to the International Criminal Court, they must be allowed to do so and their safety and rights must be guaranteed," said Marek Marczynski from Amnesty International's International Justice Team.
"The National Transitional Council and neighbouring governments must ensure their safe detention and prompt transfer to The Hague for investigation, whether they surrender voluntarily or are arrested and transferred."
In June, the ICC issued an arrest warrant for Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, along with Colonel Mu’ammar al-Gaddafi and Abdullah al-Senussi, on two counts of crimes against humanity – murder and persecution.
Saif al-Islam reportedly fled Libya to Niger, where he has taken refuge among Sahara nomads, following the killing of his father last week. Abdullah al-Senussi is reported to be in Mali.
Both men are believed to be at risk of suffering a similar fate to Mu’ammar al-Gaddafi and his son Mu’tassim al-Gaddafi, who were captured alive by anti-Gaddafi fighters and then allegedly killed.
"The NTC now has a responsibility to prevent similar harm coming to Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi and Abdullah al-Senussi, so that they can face justice for their alleged crimes in a fair trial," said Marek Marczynski.
"Investigating the men before the ICC offers an opportunity to ensure justice, truth and reparation for the victims of the crimes against humanity they are charged with committing against the Libyan people - justice that may have been denied if the unlawful killing of Colonel Mu'ammar al-Gaddafi is confirmed."