By Kristina Hon, 2011 Summer Legal Intern
In order for the IJP to represent victims before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the case against Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, Bashir must first be brought before the Court. As it is unlikely that he will voluntarily surrender, the next logical scenario would be that he is arrested during a trip abroad. Bashir has been nothing, if not brazen, in defying the arrest warrant that the ICC issued in March 2009. Both the African Union and the Arab League issued resolutions repudiating the arrest warrant and affirming their solidarity with Bashir. Accordingly, Bashir has traveled freely to various African and Arab countries, including those that are party to the Rome Statute and obligated to cooperate with the Court. Lately, however, it appears that Bashir is taking the threat of capture and arrest more seriously.
After visiting Iran in late June, Bashir’s airplane returned to Tehran en route to Beijing, China amid concerns that the plane would be flying through ICC member states’ airspace, including Pakistan, Afghanistan and U.S. Air Force-patrolled skies. Nevertheless, after only a day’s delay, he made it to China. Next on his schedule are Ethiopia and Qatar.
Should ICC member states arrest Bashir, notwithstanding the fact he is a sitting president? Should Pakistani, Afghani, or U.S. Air Forces have forced Bashir’s plane to land on ICC-member soil for arrest?
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