FIDH Urges States to Comply with ICC Arrest Warrant For Al-Tuhamy Mohamed Khaled

Press release

(The Hague) – FIDH welcomes the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) decision to unseal the Warrant of Arrest for Al-Tuhamy Mohamed Khaled, who is wanted for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Libya in 2011. FIDH calls upon the UN Security Council and all States to support and cooperate with the Court’s request to realise a swift arrest of Mr Al-Tuhamy and his surrender to the ICC.

"States have an obligation to cooperate with the ICC and must arrest Mr Al-Tuhamy and surrender him to the ICC at the first opportunity. It would be the first trial before the ICC for crimes committed during the Arab Spring in Libya."

Dimitris Christopoulos, FIDH President

Mr. Khaled acted as head of Libya’s Internal Security Agency under Muammar Gaddafi’s regime in 2011, and allegedly played a significant role in repressing opposition. He is charged by the ICC with imprisonment, torture, persecution, and other inhumane acts (as crimes against humanity) and torture, cruel treatment and outrages upon personal dignity (as war crimes). Though the ICC issued a warrant for his arrest in 2013, it was kept under seal until yesterday, when it was made public according to the Pre-Trial Chamber as a way to “foster support and cooperation for an arrest operation from the international community.”

The ICC has publicly issued three other arrest warrants for Muammar Gaddafi (revoked following his death), and for Saif al Islam Gaddafi, and Abdullah Al-Senussi in relation to its Libya investigation, though to-date neither have been executed.

Saif al Islam Gaddafi, detained by the Zintan militia, was never transferred to the ICC or to Libyan authorities in Tripoli. Nonetheless, he was tried (in absentia) alongside Al-Senussi, and sentenced to death by firing squad by Libyan courts in 2015. The trial was plagued with serious concerns regarding international fair trial standards, and the decision is currently under appeal before the Libyan Supreme Court. Click here for more on this case.

The ICC arrest warrant still stands for Gaddafi and FIDH calls for his immediate surrender to the ICC and urges the UN Security Council’s assistance, to firmly stand behind its 2011 decision to refer the situation in Libya to the ICC.

Al-Senussi’s case before the ICC was declared inadmissible and upheld by the Appeals Chamber in 2014 because of the ongoing domestic proceedings. ICC judges ruled that Libyan authorities were both willing and able to carry out a genuine investigation and prosecution against Al-Senussi. FIDH again urges the ICC Prosecutor to request a review of the admissibility of the Al-Senussi case.

"It is crucial that the investigation in Libya does not focus solely on crimes committed in 2011 by the Gaddafi regime. The ICC Office of the Prosecutor should continue its investigations and prosecutions on the situation in Libya, including on most recent crimes committed in this country and impacting the entire region."

Shawan Al Jabareen, FIDH Secretary General

Last November, the Prosecutor announced before the United National Security Council that the Office of the Prosecutor will consider opening an investigation into alleged criminal acts against refugees and migrants in Libya, including any alleged acts of sexual violence or crimes against children. Considering the ongoing grave atrocities committed in Libya and the inability and unwillingness of national authorities to investigate those crimes, FIDH urges the Prosecutor to continue her investigations.


The situation in Libya has been unstable since February 2011 when Gaddafi’s regime started launching massive attacks against protesters and other civilians. The situation in Libya was then referred to the ICC by the Security Council on 26 February 2011, following Resolution 1970 which was adopted unanimously. The ICC Office of the Prosecutor announced the opening of an investigation on 3 March 2011.

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