Used Cell Phones as Weapons of War

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Last updated April 12, 2019

Used cell phones could be vital weapons of war in Libya even after the conflict ends, as photos and videos of the drama taken by cell phones could be used as court evidence in any war crimes cases.

Rebels generally use old cell phones in order to be able to communicate with one another, but a bunch of lawyers who have been working with their forces has been assisting in gathering evidence about the crimes allegedly being carried out by forces loyal to Colonel Muammar Gadaffi, evidence that the International Criminal Court (ICC) says it will need in order to be able to launch any kind of case against him.

“In the beginning when there were snipers, we had to move around carefully,” says the leader of the Human Rights Activists Association which is based in Misrata, Omar Abulifa.  “It was hard to get the evidence, but we did what we could.”

When the rebels were able to gain control of Misrata, the Human Rights Activists Association implemented a system in order to gather evidence, including filming bombings that killed civilians, while footage from the cell phones of rebels, ordinary citizens, and even captured government troops could also prove to be vital evidence in court.  Abulifa says that says they have already begun work on proving more than 150 cases of war crimes carried out by the Gadaffi regime.