Thursday, June 9, 2011

Evidence Growing that Libyan Forces Using Rape as Tool of War and Repression

According to Louis Moreno-Ocampo, the Prosecutor for the International Criminal Court (ICC), a team of "[i]nvestigators with the [ICC] are gathering evidence that the Libyan leadership is using rape as a tool of war and repression and had even acquired large quantities of drugs for its soldiers in an apparent bid to make them more likely to commit sexual assault. . . We have information to confirm that it was a policy in Libya to rape those who were against the Government,” Louis Moreno-Ocampo told reporters at United Nations Headquarters. “Rape is a new aspect of the repression,” he said, adding: “We are finding some elements confirming this issue of acquisition of Viagra-type of medicaments to show a policy. They were buying containers with products to enhance the possibility to rape, and we are getting the information in detail confirming the policy. We are trying to see who was involved.”

"ICC prosecutors last month requested the court’s judges to issue arrest warrants for Mr. Qadhafi, one of his sons and the head of the country’s intelligence forces, accusing them of committing crimes against humanity during the ongoing conflict in Libya.  Mr. Moreno-Ocampo said at the time that his office had gathered direct evidence detailing the orders issued by Mr. Qadhafi, the role of Saif Al Islam Qadhafi in recruiting mercenaries, and the participation of intelligence chief Abdullah Al Sanousi in attacks against demonstrators." Mr. Moreno-Ocampo has now said "a rape charge is likely be added to the previous ones, once the investigations are completed and after the judges have made a ruling on the first set of charges."

Adapted from a UN Press Release (cgb)

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