Statement about the Investigation and Prosecution of President Bashir of Sudan by The International Criminal Court

5 October 2008

Rights Now (HRN), an international human rights NGO based in Tokyo, has
made the following statement concerning the current situation in the
Republic of Sudan on 5 October 2008, in the interests of seeking peace
by way of conquering human rights abuses in the country.

Statement about The Investigation and Prosecution of President Bashir of Sudan by The International Criminal Court

mid-July 2008, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, chief prosecutor of the
International Criminal Court (ICC), requested the court grant an arrest
warrant against President Bashir of Sudan relating to five cases of
genocide, three cases of crimes against humanity, and two cases of war

In response to this request, the ICC judges formally
began in mid-September to address the issue of an arrest warrant
against President Bashir.

In Darfur region of Sudan,
it is said that a hybrid army consisting of the national army and
militia supported by the Sudanese Government raided villages and
carried out acts of genocide against a large number of innocent people.
As a result, there are allegedly more than two million refugees from
the crisis at present..

Considering these humanitarian victims,
the ICC’s prosecution against President Bashir is logical and essential
for the purposes of international justice.

Nevertheless, there is an argument against the ICC’s prosecution.

the Security Council Resolution, it is unknown whether there will be
serious opposition to the investigation and prosecution of President

According to Article 16 of the ICC statute, by a
resolution under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, the Security Council
may suspend the ICC’s investigation and its prosecution for 12 months
and may prolong the period.

For example, the African Union (AU)
strongly supports this movement against the ICC’s investigation and
some other non-African countries may also come down in favor of this

Security Council Resolution which suspends the investigation and prosecution of President Bashir because of two reasons.

international justice should not be used as a tool for political
negotiations in terms of universal value. Moreover, it is quite
impossible to develop sustainable peace without addressing serious
humanitarian issues and human rights abuses.

Such an opinion
concerning the ICC’s investigation is supported not only by HRN but
also by many members of international society.

For instance,
some countries and major NGOs including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty
International have expressed their opinions against moves to suspend
the ICC’s investigation and prosecution.

Furthermore, G8 countries also support the ICC’s investigation in Sudan.
In June of 2008, the Chair’s Summary of the G8 Kyoto Foreign Ministers’
Meeting before the G8 summit in Toyako said, “We urge the Government of
Sudan and all other parties to completely cooperate with the
International Criminal Court in order to end the impunity of serious
crimes committed in the Darfur region,” and demanded that each country
cooperate with the ICC’s investigation in Sudan.

In particular, Japan should commit to and take leadership in this situation. Japan was the chair country of the G8 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting held in Kyoto and released a statement supporting the ICC’s investigation in Sudan.

In other words, Japan
has a responsibility to be emphatically against any international
movements towards suspending the ICC’s investigation and should call
for the international justice.

We would like to emphasize again that international justice is fundamentally not substitutable.

we let some countries stop the ICC”s investigation and prosecution
because of political bargains, the authority of the ICC will be lost
and the situation will cause serious troubles in future.

Rights Now calls on international society and especially the Japanese
government to protest against the suspension of the ICC’s investigation
in Sudan and the looks towards the fruition of sustainable peace based
on international justice.