China: Open Letter to Chinese Authorities Concerning President Omar Al Bashir’s Visit To China

Press release

His Excellency Mr Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China
His Excellency Li Yuanchao, Vice-President of the People’s Republic of China

29 August 2015

Subject: Visit of President Al Bashir to Commemorative Event in China

Your Excellencies,

We have learned that on 3 September 2015, you are due to host a military parade commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two.

We have also received information that you have invited Omar Al Bashir, President of Sudan, to the event and that he has confirmed his attendance. We wish to remind you that President Al Bashir is currently subject to two arrest warrants issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes, and thus call on you to withdraw his invitation to your events on 3 September.

The situation in Darfur, Sudan, was referred to the ICC on 31 March 2005 by UN Security Council Resolution 1593, which resulted in two warrants issued against Al Bashir on 4 March 2009 and 12 July 2010. The ICC holds that there are reasonable grounds to believe that Al Bashir is responsible for several counts of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, including through murder, extermination, forcible transfer of population, torture, rape, attacks against civilians and pillaging.

Under Al Bashir’s presidency, massive and systematic crimes continue to be perpetrated in Darfur, Blue Nile, and South Kordofan. Reports of on-going crimes by government forces and allied militia include indiscriminate and targeted attacks on civilians; the use of prohibited weapons including cluster bombs; looting and destruction of civilian property; sexual violence; blocking humanitarian access; mass forced displacement of civilian populations; and attacks on hospitals and humanitarian facilities.

In the context of these ongoing atrocities, we wish to remind you that as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, you have a particular responsibility to support and respect UN Security Council Resolution 1593 and the subsequent ICC arrest warrants against President Al Bashir. We therefore call on you to withdraw the invitation to President Al Bashir, and to support the ICC arrest warrants by detaining him and facilitating his transfer into the custody of the ICC should he present himself on Chinese soil.

We thank you in advance for your attention to this important matter.

Yours sincerely,

Mr. Karim Lahidji
FIDH – International Federation for Human Rights

Katherine Perks
Acting Director / Programme Director
African Centre For Justice and Peace Studies

Read more