Arusha, November 7, 2012 (FH) – Human Rights Watch (HRW) has asked members of the United Nations Security Council to send a strong message to Libya to cooperate with the International Criminal Court (ICC), according to a statement issued on Tuesday.

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Libya has yet to hand over to the ICC Abdullah al-Sanussi, despite a Security Council order to cooperate with the Court and an outstanding request to hand him over.

Al-Senussi, the Libya’s former intelligence chief, was extradited to his home country in September from Mauritania where he was arrested in March this year.

“The Security Council gave the ICC jurisdiction to investigate and ordered Libya to cooperate,” Richard Dicker, International Justice Director at HRW, is quoted in the statement as saying.

He adds, “Council members should make clear that Tripoli may not ignore its legal obligations, and that it's time to make good of Resolution 1970.”

Security Council Resolution 1970, which referred Libya to the ICC, requires the Libyan authorities to cooperate fully with the court, a binding requirement under the UN Charter, even though Libya is not a party to the treaty that established the court.

HRW says in the statement that such cooperation includes abiding by the court’s decisions and requests, as well as respecting the immunity of court officials, as stipulated in article 48 of the court’s treaty.

The new ICC prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, was set to brief the Security Council on her Libya investigation on November 7. Her briefing comes one month after the court held hearings in The Hague on a challenge by Libya to the admissibility of the case against Saif al-Islam.

Following an application by the prosecutor, on June 27, 2011, the ICC judges granted arrest warrants for Muammar Gaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam and Al-Sanussi for crimes against humanity for their roles in crimes in Tripoli, Benghazi, Misrata, and other locations in Libya.

But the ICC terminated the proceedings against Muammar Gaddafi, the ex-Libyan Presiednt, following his death on October 20, 2011.