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Friday, August 13, 2010

Libya proud of violating international humanitarian law

From Ya Libnan:

Seif al-Islam Gadhafi, the son of Libya’s leader said Thursday that part of a deal to free a jailed Israeli photographer involved the release of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.

Gadhafi told reporters that the Israeli-Tunisian Rafael Rafram Chaddad was not a spy and accepted his story that he was in the country to photograph heritage sites connected with Libya’s vanished Jewish community.

“This person was naive … he is not a spy and I made use of this issue in favor of our Palestinian brothers in Gaza,” he said. “Palestinian prisoners were released in exchange for releasing the Israeli photographer.”

Gadhafi would not say how many Palestinians were released in exchange for Chaddad, who was freed Sunday after five months in jail.
Once again we quote from the 1979 Hostages Convention:

Any person who seizes or detains and threatens to kill, to injure or to continue to detain another person (hereinafter referred to as the "hostage") in order to compel a third party, namely, a State, an international intergovernmental organization, a natural or juridical person, or a group of persons, to do or abstain from doing any act as an explicit or implicit condition for the release of the hostage commits the offence of taking of hostages ("hostage-taking") within the meaning of this Convention.

Any person who attempts to commit an act of hostage-taking, or participates as an accomplice of anyone who commits or attempts to commit an act of hostage-taking likewise commits an offence for the purposes of this Convention.
Libya has accepted this Convention.

Furthermore, hostage taking is considered a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions (Convention IV, Article 147) in international conflicts. Libya is still in an official state of war with Israel.

Libya has admitted - and is proud of - this grave breach of international law.

Don't expect the UN Human Rights Council to take up this issue. After all, Libya is a member in good standing of that august body.

(h/t Jed)