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Christian Entity Joins Call to Transfer Sudan’s Human Rights Violators to The Hague

Credit: Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW)

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), a UK-based human rights foundation, has joined more than 60 international organizations that are urging Sudan’s Sovereignty Council to transfer three indictees of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to The Hague where they will be charged for crimes against humanity.

Sudan’s Council of Ministers approved the transfer of Omar al-Bashir, Ahmed Haroun, and Abdel Raheem Muhammad Hussein in June 2021. However, the decision to transfer the three must also be approved by the Sovereignty Council.

In a Wednesday, September 1 report, CSW’s President Mervyn Thomas lauds the commitment demonstrated by Sudan’s Council of Ministers to have the three moved to The Hague, noting that the move is a vital step in ensuring an impartial judicial process and ensuring that violators pay for crimes against humanity.

“CSW welcomes the commitments made by Sudan’s Council of Ministers. The handover of the indictees, including former president Omar al Bashir, to the International Criminal Court (ICC) is a vital step in ensuring an impartial judicial process and underscoring that those responsible for committing atrocity crimes will be held to account,” Mr. Mervyn says.

He adds, “We urge the Sovereignty Council to support the decision made by the Council of Ministers and to action the transfer of all of the indictees and Sudan’s signature to the Rome Statute.”   

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A total of 67 individuals and organizations including Act for Sudan, Activists for Human Rights Canada and the African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS) have signed the petition that is addressed to the Sovereign Council and Council of Ministers in Sudan.

Others are Human Rights Advocacy Network for Democracy, Human Rights Concern Eritrea, Human Rights Watch (HRW), Independent Human Rights Investigators in Liberia, and the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ).

Investors against Genocide, Jewish World Watch and the Kenyan Section of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ – Kenya) have also signed the petition.

Signatories to the letter urge the Sovereignty Council to “translate its recent commitment to ending decades of impunity into action by transferring the ICC’s outstanding fugitives without delay. Victims should not be made to wait any longer for justice.”

The signatories express their satisfaction with the approval by Sudan’s Council of Ministers to transfer the three individuals currently in Sudanese custody to the ICC, “We are now writing to urge the Sovereign Council to follow suit and swiftly facilitate the handover of Omar al-Bashir, Ahmed Haroun, and Abdel Raheem Muhammad Hussein.”

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“We commend the transitional government for the historic steps that it has already taken to cooperate with the ICC, including by facilitating the ICC Prosecutor’s first visit to Darfur in connection with the ongoing case for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Ali Kushayb,” the signatories say in their letter.

They further welcome the Council of Ministers’ announcement that Sudan intends to ratify the Rome Statute of the ICC, joining 123 other States in standing against impunity.

According to the UN Commission of Inquiry on Darfur, an estimated 400,000 people were killed, countless women and girls were systematically raped and subjected to other forms of sexual and gender-based violence, and more than 2.5 million people were forcibly displaced from their homes during the conflict in Sudan’s Darfur region, for which former President Omar al-Bashir and his regime were deemed responsible.

Al-Bashir became the first sitting head of state to be issued with a criminal warrant for the alleged crimes of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

According to the leadership of CSW, the transfer of the human rights violators to The Hague will reassure Sudanese people that those behind abuses can be punished.

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“His (Bashir’s) transfer and that of the other men is particularly important for the transitional government to demonstrate its commitment to holding those responsible for these grave crimes to account,” CSW leadership has reported.