Omar al-Bashir

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WEEK 15 2017 ICL MEDIA REVIEW

Friday, April 14, 2017 - 00:00

In this week's review, news about Gotovina charges, timing for ICC Contempt appeal, African Court direct access, South Sudan genocide claims, and more

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Non-compliance: Why South Africa’s penance should be brief and painless

Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - 17:19

Last week at The Hague, South Africa finally got a chance to explain its failure to arrest wanted Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir back in 2015. The timing could have been better. A combination of unexpected political and economic developments conspired to present South Africa before the International Criminal Court (ICC) when the “Rainbow nation” wasn’t feeling particularly good about itself.

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David beats Goliath in the Bashir case, but will the international community care?

Courtside Justice with Mark Kersten
Thursday, March 17, 2016 - 14:40

The campaign against Omar al-Bashir racked up an impressive win this week. In the latest development in an ongoing legal tug-of-war, the South African Supreme Court of Appeal ruled that the government of South Africa had acted unlawfully when it refused to detain and surrender Bashir to the International Criminal Court (ICC) during a visit to the country last June.

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Sara S.

Perhaps the ICC should reflect a little deeper on the criticism it receives regarding its almost sole attention on crimes committed in Africa. Global apathy, or "hibernation", might have risen due to the frustration some States and international human rights advocates feel towards the ICC's apathy towards "alleged" crimes (documented evidence present) committed by Israel (Gaza flotilla raid, to say the least, and Netanyahu's coalition partners calling for ethnic cleansing and genocide in 2014). There is deep resentment towards the ICC not initiating an investigation towards the "alleged" war crimes committed by Tony Blair in the Iraq war.

US Secretary of State John Kerry announced yesterday that Daesh (so-called ISIS), is perpetrating genocide in Syria, and there is a possibility that the Security Council refers the situation to the ICC (ICC has jurisdiction on nationals of State Parties which many of the alleged perpetrators are from, but ICC Prosecutor has said that responsibility first rests with national authorities for investigation and prosecution, under the Rome Statute. Another possibility is if Syria ratifies the treaty or accepts jurisdiction of the court through a declaration - two highly unlikely events).

Chief Prosecutor's response to the situation in Syria is sobering and important. Yet any whisper of US soldiers perpetrating crimes in Afghanistan (State Party to the ICC) was immediately hushed when the ICC Prosecutor sent a letter to US officials in 2013, stating that U.S. personnel had abused more than two dozen detainees held in that country, mostly between 2003 and 2006 (we now have evidence that the numbers are far higher and involving children, women and elderly as well). Torture falls under crimes against humanity in the ICC's statute Article 7.1.f. There is countless evidence of torture and more abuses due to the US policy on detainees: government documents, ex US military interviews, released detainees' evidence of torture (videos, pictures, interviews), former chief prosecutor of Guantanamo, Morris Davis' resignation based on the torture and law-free zone of US policy on detainees, etc. Human rights groups such as HRW and Amnesty International have called for the accountability of the detainee abusers in the "war on terror". The US prisons in Bagram and Kandahar (both in Afghanistan) are notorious with documented evidence of detainee abuse; yet the US officials remain uninvestigated, unprosecuted, or unpunished. Moreover, to add salt on the wound, the ICC prosecutor wrote in her November 2013 report that her office continues to pursue "information to determine whether there is any reasonable basis to believe any such alleged acts, which could amount to torture or humiliating and degrading treatment, may have been committed as part of a policy."

This week's "landmark ruling" by the Supreme Court of Africa, parallel with the community of actors' general apathy, deserves a stronger reflection and consideration on why, perhaps, the international community has become disenchanted by the international criminal court which promised the end of impunity and deliver justice to the victims of international crimes, regardless of the political power of perpetrators.

Friday, March 18, 2016 - 11:27
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Darfur Victims withdraw from ICC case against Bashir

Courtside Justice with Mark Kersten
Wednesday, November 4, 2015 - 11:33

It has been a decade since the International Criminal Court (ICC) opened its investigation into alleged mass atrocities committed in Darfur. Those ten years have been, to say the least, a rocky ride for international justice.

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Omar al-Bashir on the road again

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir addresses delegates at the India-Africa summit in New Delhi
Monday, November 2, 2015 - 12:40

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir's presence at the India-Africa summit has sparked off a flurry of comments on social media.

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The aftermath of al-Bashir's visit to South Africa

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir ignores South African court order and returns home
Monday, June 22, 2015 - 11:44

One week after people in the world of international justice were at the edge of their seats, we’re starting to see the aftermath of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir's narrow escape from justice in South Africa.

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Bashir and the ICC, a harmless puppy

Omar el-Bashir returning home after a lightening visit to South Africa
Monday, June 15, 2015 - 16:35

The ICC is like a harmless puppy without state cooperation. That’s probably what Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir thought when he decided to visit South Africa. He left the country while a Pretoria court was about to issue an arrest warrant.

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Al-Bashir Watch 2015

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir
Monday, April 20, 2015 - 13:59

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has been the talk of the town over the last few days for a number of reasons. The ICC-indicted leader of Sudan not only went to elections unopposed, he also decided to travel outside of Africa and the Middle East for the first time in four years.

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The highlights of 2014: al-Bashir

Omar al-Bashir speaking at a press conference in Khartoum
Friday, January 2, 2015 - 10:58

Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir will not be put on trial at the International Criminal Court.

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Sudan's Al-Bashir still traveling despite the ICC

Omar al-Bashir
Friday, October 3, 2014 - 09:03

Sudan's president Omar al-Bashir has been welcomed in Saudi Arabia. He is under an arrest warrant from the ICC - now five years old - on charges including genocide. But that hasn't stopped him from paying regular visits abroad.

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