Activists rally at UN against efforts to block ICC investigation.
By Daniel Van Oudenaren September 26, 2008 (NEW YORK New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of ) a" Human
rights activists with Amnesty International USA Amnesty International USA (AI USA) is a United States organisation that works to end human rights abuses and part is of the Amnesty International network.
Since being founded, the organisation has worked to free prisoners of conscience, oppose torture, and fight other human demonstrated outside the
United Nations on Thursday evening to press the UN Security Council to
reject the efforts of some countries to block the International Criminal
Court (ICC ICC
See: International Chamber of Commerce ) investigation of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir General of the Army Omar Hasan Ahmad al-Bashir (Arabic: عمر حسن احمد البشير, born January 1 1944) is a Sudanese military leader, politician, and current president of Sudan. for
crimes against humanity, genocide and war crimes committed in the Darfur
region of Sudan. About 200 demonstraters gathered in Dag Hammarskjold Noun 1. Dag Hammarskjold - Swedish diplomat who greatly extended the influence of the United Nations in peacekeeping matters (1905-1961)
Dag Hjalmar Agne Carl Hammarskjold, Hammarskjold Plaza in New York to support the ICC process and to urge member states
to keep the promises they have made for more than a year to send 26,000
peacekeepers to protect civilians in Darfur. The United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. would
like to see an increase of 4,000 troops in Darfur before the end of the
year, a US diplomat said Thursday a" still putting the total number
of peacekeepers at significantly less than 26,000. "Delays in
deployment are putting millions of lives at further risk in a region
where hundreds of thousands of individuals have died in more than five
years of unrelenting, horrific violence," said Larry Cox, executive
director of Amnesty International USA. At the demonstration on Thursday,
activists from 15 organizations erected 15 eight-foot-high silhouette
figures blindfolded blind·fold
tr.v. blind·fold·ed, blind·fold·ing, blind·folds
1. To cover the eyes of with or as if with a bandage.
2. To prevent from seeing and especially from comprehending.
1. and carrying scales of justice Scales of Justice can refer to:
including the current head of state of Sudan, should be protected from
prosecution for the most serious crimes under international law,"
said Cox. "If attempts to block the ICC's investigation of
President Bashir succeed, it would set a dangerous precedent for others
to try to undermine international law. It would send a message that the
international community is not serious about ending impunity for
genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes." Sudanese
officials disagree, pointing to their own judicial process and the
importance of Bashir's role as head of state. "I think it
would not be a peaceful world to live in if a head of state is just an
individual," said Bona Malwal, special advisor to President Bashir,
on Sept. 18 in Washington. "I have seen the devastation that the
war has brought to the people of southern Sudan over 22 years," he
said, also stressing that an election should be used to remove a head of
state, not a foreign court. Sudan is currently leading a diplomatic
effort at the United Nations to suspend the ICC proceedings, using the
power granted to the security council in the Rome Statute, the treaty
governing the ICC. The African Union and the League of Arab States League of Arab States: see Arab League. have
joined in this effort, although several permanent Security Council
members have stated that they will veto a measure to suspend the ICC
proceedings. udan scored a symbolic victory on Friday when African
nations in a ministerial meeting of the Group of 77, a coalition of
developing nations, elected Sudan to chair the group througout 2009.
"Efforts will continue until such a time as the ICC judges
rule," predicted Amnesty's Director of International Justice
Vienna Colucci, referring to the Sudanese diplomatic effort. "Any
deferral of this investigation would seriously undermine the painstaking
work to establish a deterrent to grave human rights abuses," she
said. "Such a move would signal that the Security Council is
willing to tolerate blackmail." Some observers have expressed fears
that the issuance of an arrest warrant for Bashir could worsen the
situation in Darfur, especially after direct threats from Sudanese
officials that the government would expel humanitarian organizations and
the UNAMID UNAMID United Nations - African Union Mission in Darfur peacekeeping force. But Colucci stressed that any fall-out
from the ICC indictment is not the responsibility of the judicial body,
but would rest "squarely on the government of Sudan."
"What the UN should be saying is that this is not going to be
tolerated," Colucci argued. "Certainly we don't want to
imply that it is not complex," she said, but reiterated that the
present situation is not a case of pursuing justice after-the-fact, but
it is about bringing to justice a party that is still committing crimes
and genocide. Amnesty International Amnesty International (AI,) human-rights organization founded in 1961 by Englishman Peter Benenson; it campaigns internationally against the detention of prisoners of conscience, for the fair trial of political prisoners, to abolish the death penalty and torture of is calling on Zalmay Khalilzad, the
American ambassador to the United Nations, to use his influence to
prevent the Security Council from obstructing the investigation. "I
thought that yesterday's rally really was very heartening heart·en
- Scales held by Lady Justice symbolizing the measure of a case's support and opposition.
- Scales of Justice (TV miniseries), a 1983 Australian television drama.
tr.v. heart·ened, heart·en·ing, heart·ens
To give strength, courage, or hope to; encourage. See Synonyms at encourage.
Adj. 1. . I
thought that it really showed the coalition that has come together to
demand this," Colucci told Sudan Tribune. (ST)
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