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After setting the wheels of justice in motion, all Security Council members should be reaffirming the message that impunity is no longer an option, instead of proffering a get out of jail free card to end a military stalemate. Amnesty for mass atrocities, whether explicit or de facto, has no legal validity internationally.

When the United Nations Security Council unanimously referred the situation in Libya to the International Criminal Court prosecutor on Feb. 26, it made clear that impunity for crimes against humanity threatens international peace and security. The referral sent a strong message that systematic attacks with deadly force against peaceful protesters have criminal consequences.

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