Jordan: Say no to ICC fugitive al-Bashir

After South Africa failed to arrest al-Bashir during his visit in April 2015, all eyes are now on Jordan.
Coalition Secretariat
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Global civil society is urging His Majesty King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein to uphold the long-standing commitment and role of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in ensuring an end to impunity by reconsidering the invitation extended to Sudanese President al-Bashir to attend the 28th Arab League Summit in Amman this week.

In an open letter sent to His Majesty on Monday, Coalition Convenor William R. Pace stated:

"We respectfully urge Your Majesty to uphold the long-standing commitment and role of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in ensuring an end to impunity by reconsidering the invitation that was extended to President al-Bashir to attend the Summit. Should President al-Bashir however travel to Jordan this week, we urge you to deny him entry or to arrest him as soon as he enters the territory.

Pace highlighted Jordan as "a very strong supporter of the fight against impunity in the lead up to and since the establishment of the ICC" and reminded the country that "the success of the ICC depends on the strong support of those who brought it into existence."

The letter went on to say that: "The Coalition looks forward to continuing to work with your government in the future as well as with the ICC and all states toward ending impunity for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, wherever they may occur."

President al-Bashir is subject to two outstanding arrest warrants issued by the ICC in 2009 and 2010 on charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide committed in Darfur, Sudan. These arrest warrants resulted from an investigation by the ICC Office of the Prosecutor following the United Nations (UN) Security Council Resolution 1593 (2005) which referred the situation in Darfur to the Court – a situation the Security Council deemed a threat to international peace and security. According to UN reports, approximately 300,000 people were killed, and over two million people were forced to leave their homes between 2003 and 2008, as part of the Government of Sudan’s counter-insurgency campaign in Darfur. In authorizing the arrest warrants for President al-Bashir, the independent ICC judges agreed that there are substantial reasons to believe President al-Bashir is responsible for the alleged crimes. The ICC represents one of the most significant opportunities to address these major and devastating crimes and to contribute to the restoration of peace in the region.

The letter echoed the efforts of the Bashir Watch Coalition, which has claimed that millions have been displaced in the Darfur region since 2003, with escalations of violence breaking out unabated. However, whilst certain ICC member states have been vocal in barring al-Bashir from entering their territories, he has been able to visit others with relative impunity.

“Jordan’s government has a chance to demonstrate its credibility on accountability and support for justice for victims of mass atrocities by avoiding an al-Bashir visit,” said Elise Keppler, associate international justice director at Human Rights Watch. “Al-Bashir belongs in The Hague appearing before the ICC.”

Read the full letter.

Read our latest letter to His Majesty King Abdullah II, urging him to arrest Omar al-Bashir

Read our letter calling on States Parties to the Rome Statute, who are attending the summit, to avoid contact with Omar al-Bashir

Ten ways states can support the ICC

Voices of Nuba: The victims of al-Bashir’s impunity