French criminal case against AMESYS in relation to acts of torture in Libya

As reported by Opinio Juris this morning (see here), FIDH and LDH have just filed a criminal complaint concerning the responsibility of the company AMESYS in relation to acts of torture in Libya.

This complaint, which singles out a company for being complicit in grave violations of human rights on the basis of extraterritorial jurisdiction, is considered within the framework of the struggle against impunity, at a time when a growing number of companies is being denounced for having provided similar systems to authoritarian regimes.

“We hope that the judicial investigation will be opened as quickly as possible so as to determine the possible criminal liability of Amesys and its executives”, stated Patrick Baudouin, honorary president of FIDH and head of the FIDH legal action group.

“On a larger scale, this procedure may contribute to shedding light on the extent of the crimes committed by the Gaddafi regime,” declared Pierre Tartakowsky, President of LDH.

The facts

When Tripoli was liberated, on 29 August 2011, journalists from the Wall Street Journal entered the building where the Libyan regime monitored communications. They found manuals written in English carrying the logo of Amesys, a French subsidiary of the Bull Group.

In 2007 Amesys entered into an agreement with the government of Libya to make technology available for the purpose of intercepting communication, data processing and analysis.

Agreements for technological cooperation, and more particularly software installation, meant not only making material available but also included a phase of development, assistance and monitoring.

See: http://www.fidh.org/FIDH-and-LDH-file-a-complaint

And: http://opiniojuris.org/2011/10/20/french-case-filed-against-corporation-for-complicity-in-torture-in-libya/

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