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Qaddafi's Son Has Been Sentenced to Death for War Crimes

The only surviving son of the former dictator Muammar Qaddafi has been sentenced to death by a court in Libya over war crimes linked to the 2011 uprising.

by Charlotte Meredith
Jul 28 2015, 9:35am

Imagen por Sabri Elmhedwi/EPA

Saif Qaddafi has today been sentenced to death by a court in Libya over war crimes linked to the 2011 uprising.

The only surviving son of the former dictator Muammar Qaddafi faces execution by firing squad having been accused of suppressing protests during the revolution.

Saif al-Islam, along with eight others, will be given the right to appeal, according to the BBC.

He was not present in court as he is still being held by a former rebel group that took him captive in 2011 during the uprising.

The court also sentenced Muammar Qaddafi's former spy chief, Abdullah al-Senussi, and his former prime minister, Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi to death.

Related: On the Frontline of Libya's Fight Against the Islamic State

Libya has slid into chaos since the overthrow and killing of Qaddafi.  Conditions deteriorated still further last year. The country is now split between two warring administrations: the older Islamist-dominated and Tripoli-based General National Congress (GNC), and the House of Representatives (HOR), which gained international recognition after elections in 2014.

VICE News filmmaker Medyan Dairieh was in Libya in 2011 to witness the revolution. In 2014, he returned to follow members of the 17th February battalion, a rebel group fighting against the forces of former Qaddafi commander Khalifa Haftar. Dairieh witnessed first-hand how life after the Libyan revolution has devolved into lawlessness and Islamic State-linked extremism.

Since the end of Libya's 2011 civil war Saif has been held by a militia in Zintan, which is allied with the Tobruk-based internationally recognized government against the Tripoli one.

He is also wanted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague on charges of crimes against humanity.

Charges in the trial included recruiting mercenaries who were given Libyan nationality, planning and carrying out attacks on civilian targets from the air, forming armed groups, and shooting into crowds of demonstrators.

Hundreds of militias in Libya are battling for power and turf in a lawless environment that has allowed human traffickers and kidnappers to flourish.

The UN envoy for Libya, meanwhile, has urged the Islamist-led government in Tripoli to sign a peace deal that would establish a unity government. Members of the Tobruk government and regional leaders signed the unity accord in Morocco on July 11.

Related: Inside the Makeshift Weapons Workshop That Keeps Libya's Militias Armed

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Follow Charlotte Meredith on Twitter: @CHMeredith