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Tuesday, June 13, 2017


Saif al-Islam after his capture in 2011

Saif al-Islam after his capture in 2011

Did Saif Al-Islam suffer for the sins of his father?

An armed group in Libya has freed Saif al-Islam. The son of dead dictator Muammar Gaddafi had been in custody since November 2011.

The Abu Bakr al-Sadiq Brigade, a militia of former rebels that control the town of Zintan in western Lybia, said Islam was freed on Friday evening, “the 14th day of the month of Ramadan,” under an amnesty law promulgated by the parliament based in the east.

The North African country has rival administrations, with the authorities in the east not recognizing the UN-backed government of national accord (GNA) based in the capital.

Political rivalry and fighting between militias have hampered Libya’s efforts to recover from the chaos that followed the 2011 uprising that toppled and killed Gaddafi.

Rival authorities and militias have been vying for control of the oil-rich country ever since.

“We have decided to liberate Saif al-Islam Muammar Gaddafi. He is now free and has left the city of Zintan,” a statement said. Zintan is controlled by armed groups opposed to the GNA.

Islam is the subject of an arrest warrant for crimes against humanity allegedly committed during the eight months of the uprising in 2011. Libya's authorities and the International Criminal Court (ICC) are in dispute over who has the right to judge him.

Saif al-Islam, 44, was born on 25 June 1972. His name means sword of Islam and he is the second of Gaddafi’s eight children, the eldest son of his second wife Safiya.

The fluent English speaker often appeared in the west as the public face of his father’s regime. He held no official post but had influence as a loyal emissary of the regime and architect of reform.

In July 2016 Saif al-Islam’s lawyers claimed that their client had been released under an amnesty issued by the unrecognized authorities in the east of the country.

But the GNA said the amnesty, enacted in April that year, cannot apply to persons accused of crimes against humanity.

In all three of Gaddafi’s seven sons died during the revolution. One son who survived, Saadi, is still on trial in Libya for his alleged involvement in the crackdown and killing of a former football coach.

The deposed dictator’s widow Safiya and three more of their children found refuge in Algeria in the wake of the revolution and then later in Oman.

But the shockwaves created by the ouster and grisly killing of Gaddafi by rebels in his hometown of Sirte continue to ripple across the troubled country.

Late in May Tripoli was rocked by fierce clashes between forces loyal to the unity government and rival militias, with more than 50 members of the pro-GNA forces reported killed.

Relying on militia support and pitted against the rival administration in the east, the GNA has struggled to assert its authority.

The International Criminal Court

What's Saif al-Islam going to do? How is he going to live in war-torn Libya? In a country, many may still see him as an enemy and a threat, living in Libya wouldn't be a wise thing to do.

According to some of the factions of the Libya oppositions and international governments, Saif Al-Islam has to appear at the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity and suppressing protests. 

The question is, can ICC put him on trial when the whole organization is corrupt? They let go Bush and Blair for committing a similar crime against humanity while they prey on African leaders. 

The ICC should have been dissolved a long time. If not they shouldn't make any attempt to arrest any African leader.

Even though Saif al-Islam has been released his future looks very bleak because Libya is in complete chaos. 

Whether he organizes himself as a businessman or work in a factory, he will soon know that the great moments when his father was the president of Iraq will never come back.

He should learn how to live like a normal citizen.

1 comment:

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