Rights groups call for arrest of Sudan president

[JURIST] More than 30 human rights and civil society organizations on Tuesday called for the arrest [press release] of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir [BBC profile; JURIST news archive]. Tuesday was the fifth anniversary of his indictment [JURIST report] on five counts of crimes against humanity (murder, torture, rape, extermination, and forcible transfer). In the open letter addressed to the UN Security Council and the International Criminal Court, the groups expressed "grave concern" about al-Bashir's continued impunity, and accused the international community of failing to impose consequences for al-Bashir's atrocities and letting the Sudanese government continue its crimes in Darfur [BBC backgrounder] and the rest of Sudan. Al-Bashir has continuously stated that he will not turn himself in to stand trial. He has traveled to many African countries during this time, all of whose governments have refused to arrest him. The open letter stated, "The failure to hold Bashir accountable not only has devastating effects inside Sudan, but it also sends the wrong message to leaders like Syrian President Assad and others perpetrating extreme violence throughout the world."

In September Amnesty International called upon [JURIST report] members of the UN to demand al-Bashir turn himself in to the International Criminal Court (ICC). The ICC has continually faced difficulties in enforcing its arrest warrant against al-Bashir, in part because of the lack of support by neighbor states. In July the ICC urged [JURIST report] Nigeria to arrest al-Bashir while he was in their jurisdiction. In June 2012 former ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said that economic or other aid should be refused [JURIST report] to those countries that assist al-Bashir in evading the arrest warrant that was issued against him in 2010. In July 2010 the ICC charged [JURIST report] al-Bashir with three counts of genocide.

 

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