BashirWatch Calls on Indonesia to Withdraw Invite to Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir

23 March, 2015

His Excellency Joko Widodo
President of Indonesia
Office of the President of the Republic of Indonesia
Merdeka Palace
Jalan Medan Merdeka Utara Gambir
Jakarta 10160, Indonesia

Bashir Watch Coalition Letter to the Government of the Republic of Indonesia
Re: Omar al-Bashir’s travel to the Asia-Africa Summit in Indonesia

The Bashir Watch Coalition, a group of human rights organizations dedicated to accountability in Sudan, writes to express its grave concern that the government of Indonesia is allowing Omar al-Bashir to visit Indonesia for the Asia-Africa Summit next month despite his horrifying record of human rights abuses.

President Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on charges of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. He has perpetrated the ongoing atrocities in Darfur where hundreds of thousands have died since 2003 and millions remain displaced. In 2014 alone, approximately half a million people have been newly displaced in Darfur, and projections for 2015 are even worse. The crimes in Darfur continue to rage, and violence has spread into other areas of Sudan, including South Kordofan and Blue Nile. Bashir has continuously blocked humanitarian aid from getting to those in need, and many people are at risk of starvation. Bashir has been able to continue his reign of terror with impunity for more than twelve years, and it is time to bring justice tohis victims.

Even though Indonesia is not a state party to the Rome Statute, non-member states are still encouraged to bring international fugitives to justice. The situation in Darfur was referred to the International Criminal Court by the UN Security Council (UNSC) and the UNSC Resolution 1593 (2005) which urges all members of the United Nations to fully cooperate with the court. The 31st of March 2015 will mark 10 years since this referral. As a member of the United Nations, Indonesia is obligated to act and bring Bashir to justice.

As early as 2004, Indonesia pledged to ratify the Rome Statute by 2008 in its National Human Rights Action Plan, and when this goal was not reached, it was again included in the next Plan (2009-2014). Further demonstrating its commitment, Indonesia has also accepted numerous recommendations that it ratify the Rome Statute. Your Excellency, as the third largest democracy in the world and a central player in the Southeast Asian region, it is imperative that Indonesia promotes justice and accountability at the regional and international levels. Indonesia must demonstrate its leadership in the region and responsibility to its people by ensuring that when genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes are committed, those responsible are brought to justice. We encourage the Indonesian government to complete this objective and urgently ratify the Rome Statute.

The Bashir Watch Coalition urges the Government of Indonesia to stand for justice for the people of Sudan and refuse to allow an individual charged with genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity into its territory. If Bashir enters Indonesia, this coalition calls on the Indonesian authorities to arrest him and transfer him to the ICC so that he can face the charges against him.


The Under Signed,

The coalition of the International Criminal Court, NY, USA

The International Justice Project, NJ,

Darfur Women Action Group, DC, USA,

United to End Genocide, DC U.S.A

Waging Peace, London, UK

For Contact: Daniel Sullivan, Director of policy and government Relation, United to End Genocide. 202 556 2101

Cc: H.E. Ms. Retno L. P Marsudi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia
H.E. Budi Bowoleksono, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Indonesia to the United States of America
H.E. Ambassador. Desra Percaya, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations

Seeking justice for victims of mass atrocities

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