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Protests in Libya continue to be met with harsh violence and the death toll has now topped 1,000. The International Criminal Court (ICC) is warning Muammar Gaddafi, the country's leader, that he will be held criminally responsible for his regime's reaction to the protests that have been taking place since February 15.

It took only five days for Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the ICC's chief prosecutor, to confirm that there was sufficient evidence to warrant an investigation. And for the first time in the court's history, the probe is being actively supported by the US and other long-standing critics of the ICC, including China and Russia.

The investigation is seen as a way to pressure Gaddafi loyalists to defect, thus weakening the war against the rebels. But is ICC involvement an incentive for the Libyan leader to respect human rights or will he simply fight harder for his political survival so as to avoid prosecution?
 
Inside Story, with presenter Sami Zeidan, discusses with guests: Mohamed Abdulmalek, the chairman of Libya Watch, a human rights organisation that monitors and collects evidence of human rights abuses in Libya; Sami Hermez, a visiting fellow at Oxford University who writes extensively on revolutions across the Arab world and the impact of international intervention; and Mark Ellis, the executive director of the International Bar Association.

This episode of Inside Story aired on Friday, March 4, 2010.

Source: Al Jazeera