The Commission has received reports of abuses against particular groups occurring in Libya between 15 February 2011 and 9 February 2012. In the course of its investigations, it interviewed 111 witnesses in this regard and conducted on-site visits to Misrata, Tawergha, Al Khums, Tripoli, Abu Kammesh, Tiji, Awaniya and other towns in the Nafusa Mountains in western Libya. The Commission has also reviewed UNOSAT satellite imagery as well as numerous relevant reports of non-government organisations, video clips, and media reports.
Applicable Law Applicable law relating to the underlying offences of unlawful killings (see chap. III, sect. B); arbitrary detentions and enforced disappearances (see chap. III, sect. C); torture and other forms of ill-treatment (see chap. III, sect. D); and pillage (see chap. III, sect. L) are set out in the relevant sections in this report.
Persecution, a crime against humanity, is defined by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court as “the intentional and severe deprivation of fundamental rights contrary to international law by means of the identity of the group or collectivity”.558 For persecution to have occurred, perpetrators must commit a crime against humanity or war crime559 with discriminatory intent: the victim(s) must be targeted on the basis of identity. This identity may be discernible from objective criteria but may also exist solely in the mind of the perpetrator(s).560
Forcible transfer, a crime against humanity, is defined by the Rome Statute as “forced displacement of the persons concerned by expulsion or other coercive acts from the area in which they are lawfully present, without grounds permitted under international law”.561 The term “forcibly” is not restricted to physical force, but may include threat of force or coercion, such as that caused by fear of violence, duress, detention, psychological oppression or abuse of power against such person or persons or another person, or by taking advantage of a coercive environment.562
The Rome Statute also defines “pillaging” as a war crime.563 Further, under international human rights law, the right to property is recognised under the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, Article 14 of which reads, “the right to property shall be guaranteed. It may only be encroached upon in the interest of public need or in the general interest of the community and in accordance with the provisions of appropriate laws.”
Under the Fourth Geneva Convention, collective punishments are a war crime. Article 33 states, “no protected person may be punished for an offense he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited”.