Chad must arrest Omar Al-Bashir!

FIDH and its member organisations in Chad, Ligue tchadienne des droits de l’Homme (LTDH) and Association tchadienne pour la promotion et la défense des droits de l’Homme (ATPDH) deeply regret that President Idriss Deby has invited an international crimes suspect to come to Chad. Upon arrival of President Al-Bashir -who is sought by the International Criminal Court (ICC)- in Ndjamena, our organisations urge the Chadian government to immediately arrest and surrender him to the ICC.

Omar Al-Bashir is targeted by two ICC arrest warrants. Chad, which has ratified the ICC Statute and has publicly pledged to cooperate with the Court, is under the obligation to arrest and send him off to The Hague. The recent regularisation of relations with Sudan does in no way allow Chad to disregard its international obligations”, said Souhayr Belhassen, FIDH President.

The ICC issued two arrest warrants against the Sudanese President: the first one in March 2009 for crimes against humanity and war crimes, the second one in July 2010 for the crime of genocide. His involvement in thousands of murders, acts of rape and torture, and the forced displacement of the population of Darfur, is in question.

Our organisations recall that States Parties to the ICC Statute, including Chad, are under the obligation to cooperate with the ICC, including by executing the arrest warrants issued by the Court.

This is the first time that Al-Bashir visits the territory of an ICC State Party since the issuance of arrest warrants. If Chad does not execute the arrest warrants, it would associate itself with the acts undertaken by the Sudanese regime.

Relations between Chad and Sudan have regularised in recent months after years of rivalry. However neither the warming up of relations between the two countries nor the resolutions of the African Union (AU) or the recent statements of the President of the AU Commission minimising the importance of the international commitment to fight impunity, allow Chad to disregard its international obligations. Our organisations take this opportunity to call upon the African Union gathered at its 15th Ordinary Summit in Kampala (Uganda) until 27 July, to put an end to any campaign against the ICC, respect the independence of the Judiciary, support African states that have referred situations to the Court and meet the expectations of African victims.

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