Sudan : A new step towards impunity

Alleged perpetrator of crimes against humanity and war crimes appointed by the Sudanese government to lead investigations on human rights abuses

The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and its member organisation the Sudan Organisation Against Torture (SOAT) condemn the recent appointment by the Sudanese government of Ahmed Haroun as co-chair of a committee in charge of investigating human rights abuses in Sudan, and in particular in Darfur.

Mr. Haroun, former Minister of the Interior and since 2006 Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) since 27 April 2007, when it issued an arrest warrant against him for crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in 2003 and 2004 [1].

"This nomination is an insult to the victims of Darfur seeking truth, justice and reparation for the grave crimes they have suffered, and clearly demonstrates Sudan’s government unwillingness to bring perpetrators to justice, end impunity for crimes committed in Darfur and bring peace to the war ravaged region", said Mrs. Souhayr Belhassen, FIDH President.

This appointment occurs in the context of the visit of Mr. Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary General, to Sudan and of ICC Prosecutor Mr. Luis Moreno Ocampo’s recent calls on the Sudanese government for greater cooperation in the arrest of the two wanted Sudanese suspects.

FIDH and SOAT:
- urge the Government of Sudan to immediately suspend the appointment of Haroun and to fully cooperate with the International Criminal Court in handing over the war suspects;
- call on the United Nations Group of Experts on Sudan to take into account these recent developments in its report to the forthcoming session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

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