Chad: Government must arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir during visit

Press Release
July 21, 2010

Chad: Government must arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir during visit

Amnesty International Calls on the Government of Chad to Arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir During Visit

July 21, 2010

Amnesty International today called on the Chadian authorities to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and surrender him to the International Criminal Court, after it was reported that he arrived in Chad for a meeting with regional leaders.

"Chad should not shield President al-Bashir from international justice," said Christopher Hall, Amnesty International’s senior legal advisor. "His visit to Chad is an opportunity to enforce the arrest warrant and send a message that justice will prevail."

An arrest warrant for President al Bashir was issued by the Internatonal Criminal Court on charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes related to the violence in Darfur that erupted in 2003.

Hundreds of thousands of people are believed to have lost their lives in the conflict. Systematic human rights abuses included killing, torture, rape, looting and destruction of property by all parties involved in the conflict, but primarily by the Sudanese government and government-backed Janjawid militia. More than two million civilians have been displaced.

Chad would violate its obligations under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which it ratified in November 2006, unless it arrested al Bashir, who is in Chad to meet with heads of state of the Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD) beginning Thursday.

Amnesty International is calling on all members of the international community to ensure full accountability for crimes under international law committed in Sudan.