ICC: Evidence Shows That Qaddafi Ordered Rape of Hundreds

Article excerpt

The International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor said Wednesday that there is evidence that Qaddafi ordered the rape of Libyan women and supplied troops with male potency drugs.

- A roundup of global reports

The International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor says there is evidence that Libyan leader Col. Muammar Qaddafi ordered the rape of hundreds of women to spread fear of his regime and curb dissent.

ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo also said there is evidence that Colonel Qaddafi may have distributed Viagra-type drugs to his troops "to enhance the possibility to rape."

Although Qaddafi has suppressed dissent among Libyans for decades, often brutally, the use of rape as a weapon appears to be a disturbing new dynamic, said Mr. Moreno-Ocampo. "It was never the pattern he used to control the population. The rape is a new aspect of the repression. And that's why we had doubts at the beginning but now we are more convinced," he said, according to BBC News.

Bloomberg reports that the evidence of rape was turned up only recently, which is why the charge wasn't included in the ICC arrest warrants for Qaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam Qaddafi, and Libyan security official Abdullah el-Sanussi. The rape charge may be added if ICC judges approve the arrest warrants.

It is unclear how many women may have been raped so far. Moreno- Ocampo told Agence France-Presse that they had reports of hundreds of rapes in some areas, but they were difficult to prove definitively.

Mercy Corps' Middle East director Nigel Pont said the stigma of rape prevents many women from coming forward. "The women who are the victims of these acts are very hesitant to speak about this," he said in an interview with Al Jazeera. …