Monday, July 12, 2010

ICC issues arrest warrant against Bashir for genocide

Today Pre-Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court issued a second warrant of arrest for Omar Al-Bashir, President of Sudan, this time on charges of genocide. When the Prosecutor originally applied to Pre-Trial Chamber I with respect to the crime of genocide against Bashir early in 2009 he was denied; however, after filing an appeal against the decision it was unanimously reversed on February 3, 2010. Today, on July 12, 2010 Pre-Trial Chamber I concluded that "there are reasonable grounds to believe that Mr Al Bashir acted with specific intent to destroy in part the Fur, Masalit, and Zaghawa ethnic groups."

This warrant of arrest for three counts of genocide does not replace the first arrest warrant for Bashir, which includes charges of five counts of crimes against humanity and two counts of war crimes. The two warrants will simultaneously remain in force, jointly containing a total of ten changes against the Sudanese President who remains at large.

This is the first time that the ICC has issued a warrant for arrest that includes counts of genocide. Since its issuance the Sudan government has openly refused to cooperate with the Court to facilitate Bashir's arrest. Photo credit: AFP.

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