Thursday, May 03, 2007

ICC issues warrants related to Darfur atrocities

Human Rights Watch issued a press release today indicating that the International Criminal Court has decided to issue arrest warrants regarding the atrocities in Darfur.

"Monitoring isn't the solution," said Alex Neve, Amnesty International spokesman. "It's a positive step forward compared to the former deal, but that's not the end point when torture is as rampant and systematic as it is in Afghanistan. No amount of monitoring will prevent something that is a secret, insidious practice that can inflict devastating harm and damage on prisoners in a few minutes."

Neve said NATO should jointly operate a detention facility with Afghan officials.

HRW also noted a call by the ICC for the Sudanese government to finally cooperate with it and hand over the defendants,

In its decision to issue warrants, the Pre-Trial Chamber noted the Sudanese foreign ministry’s public statement that Khartoum will not cooperate with the ICC. It also noted indications that Ahmed Haroun is concealing evidence, and the fact that Ali Kosheib is in Sudanese custody and thus unable to voluntarily appear before the court without a warrant.

The United Nations Security Council resolution 1593, which in March 2005 referred the situation in Darfur to the ICC’s prosecutor, requires Sudan to cooperate fully with ICC investigations.

“The Security Council has obligated Sudan to cooperate with the ICC, and Sudanese officials should stop flouting their responsibility to comply,” said Dicker. “The council needs to monitor Sudan’s conduct and insist that it hands over the suspects as required.”

The cooperation required from Sudanese authorities includes not only executing arrest warrants, but also responding positively to requests from the ICC prosecutor. The Arab League and the African Union should also take steps to ensure the Sudanese government complies with these obligations.