Turkey: Arrest & Surrender Bashir!

November 6, 2009

Sudanese President Omar al Bashir is expected in Istanbul, Turkey, this Sunday and Monday for a summit of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). Back in March, the International Criminal Court indicted al Bashir on counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, which means al Bashir is a fugitive from international justice and that no countries should willingly host al Bashir without taking steps to arrest him and surrender him to the ICC in The Hague.

President Omar al Bashir is a fugitive from international justice, charged with responsibility for crimes against humanity and war crimes against men, women and children, including murder, rape, torture and forced displacement. It would be a disgrace for Turkey to offer him safe haven – Christopher Keith Hall, Senior Legal Advisor, Amnesty International.

According to the BBC, Turkish President Abdullah Gul has no intention of arresting al Bashir, even though the European Union has asked him to reconsider his invitation to al Bashir. Turkey may not have signed or ratified the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, but it still has a duty under international law to arrest al Bashir and surrender him to the court in The Hague.

Since his indictment in March, al Bashir has visited seven countries: Eritrea, Egypt, Libya, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe. Due to pressure from the international community and civil society groups however, he was forced to cancel 2 recent trips to Uganda and Nigeria.

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