January 23, 2017
His Majesty King Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein
Royal Hashemite Court
Your Majesty King Abdullah II,
The BashirWatch Coalition, a group of human rights organizations dedicated to accountability in Sudan, writes to express its concern that Jordan has invited Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to Amman to attend the 28th Arab League Summit on 29 March 2017.
President al-Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on charges of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. He is alleged to have committed the ongoing atrocities in Darfur, where hundreds of thousands have died since 2003 and millions remain displaced. While violence continues in Darfur, it has also spread to other areas of Sudan, including South Kordofan and Blue Nile.
The last two years have seen the highest levels of violence and displacement since the height of the genocide more than a decade ago. In the first few weeks of 2016 alone, over 100,000 people were newly displaced by an escalation of violence by the Sudanese government. On 29 September 2016, Amnesty International reported that at least 30 suspected chemical attacks – killing more than 200 people – had taken place in the Jebel Marra area of Darfur since the beginning of 2016. On the first day of this year, the Sudanese Armed Forces waged a brutal attack in the city of Nertiti, killing 11 and wounding over 70 civilians.
Throughout these attacks, Bashir has continuously blocked humanitarian aid from reaching those in need, and many people are at risk of starvation. Bashir has carried out his reign of terror with impunity for more than thirteen years, and bringing justice to his victims is long overdue.
Jordan is a State Party to the ICC and, as such, has a legal obligation under the Court’s founding treaty, the Rome Statute, to arrest any person for whom the ICC has issued a
warrant. Furthermore, the situation in Darfur was referred to the Court by the United Nations Security Council through UNSC Resolution 1593 (2005), which urges all members of the United Nations (UN) to fully cooperate with the Court. As both a member of the UN and a state party to the ICC, Jordan must act to bring Bashir to justice.
The Bashir Watch Coalition urges the Government of Jordan 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 Jordan, this coalition calls on the Jordanian authorities to respect both the rule of law and their legal obligations to arrest and surrender Bashir to the ICC’s custody to fairly face the charges against him. Failing this, we ask that Jordan rescind its invitation to President Bashir immediately.
Thank you on behalf of the Bashir Watch Coalition,
The Coalition of the International Criminal Court, NY, USA
Darfur Women Action Group, DC, USA
The International Justice Project, NJ, USA
Waging Peace, London, UK