Friday, July 11, 2008

Crimes Against Humanity warrant issued against sitting head of state of Sudan

In a move recalling to mind the post World War II trials at Nuremberg, an arrest warrant for war crimes will be issued, and now, for the first time in world history, against a “sitting” head of state. On Monday July 14, Luis Moreno-Ocampo of Argentina, prosecutor for the Internationals Criminal Court will seek a warrant against Omar Hassan al-Bashir of Sudan for genocide and crimes against humanity for atrocities in Darfur. The Washington Post front page story today (link here) is by Colum Lynch and Nora Boustany. It was not clear how enforceable such a warrant would be, or whether trying to issue it could instigate further atrocities.

I had reviewed two films about Darfur “The Devil Came on Horseback” and “Darfur Now” on Sept. 12, 2007, on my movies blog, here.

Another blogger recently gave me credit for writing about the Hakama singers, on Freemuse (“Freedom of Musical Expression”), here. That was “Music and the Darfur conflict” (and the mention of the video “Singing for Peace”) posted on this blog June 19, 2008 (please see Archive links).

Update: July 20

CBS "60 Minutes" aired tonight a report "Searching For Jacob: Scott Pelley Reports On The Genocide In Darfur". The gist of the story is that the United States may have been looking the other way on Bashir's crimes because Sudan has dribbled some intelligence on Osama bin Laden, who stayed in Sudan in the 1990s. The journalists traveled by bush plane to Hangala, across the border from Chad, to a village that had been destroyed, and then to a refugee camp. John Prendergast, from the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, also was on the trip. The link is here.

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