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The Coalition for the International Criminal Court:
Potential Visit of President Al-Bashir to Senegal: NGOs Press Statement; Related News

9 December 2010

In light of unconfirmed reports that Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir has been invited by the government of Senegal to participate in the third FESMAN festival, which begins Friday, 10 December 2010, civil society in Senegal has reacted with calls to arrest Al-Bashir if he arrives in the country. This message includes a joint press release issued by Amnesty International Senegal and 6 Senegalese NGOs (I) and related news coverage (II). Please also take note of the Coalition's policy on situations before the ICC (below), which explicitly states that the CICC will not take a position on potential and current situations before the Court or situations under analysis. The Coalition, however, will continue to provide the most up-to-date information about the ICC.
For additional information you may refer to the Coalition's website at www.coalitionfortheicc.org

I. COALITION MEMBERS PRESS RELEASE
[Informal translation provided by the CICC Secretariat]
“A Visit of the Sudanese President to FESMAN 3 would confirm Senegal’s Reputation as a ‘Land of Impunity’” [“La venue du président soudanais au Fesman 3 confirmerait la réputation de ‘Terre d’I mpunité’ du Sénégal”], joint statement, Amnesty International Senegal Rencontre Africaine pour la défense des droits de l’homme (RADDHO), Ligue Sénégalaise des droits de l’homme (LDH), Action des chrétiens pour l’Abolition de la Torture (ACAT/Sénégal), Le Groupe Agora pour la Protection des Droits de l’Enfant (Gra-redep), Le Comité Africain pour l’Education aux droits de l’Homme (CAEDHU), Le Réseau Africain pour le Développement Intégré (RADI), 8 December 2010, http://www.amnesty.sn/spip.php?article844 [French]
“Senegalese human rights organizations who are signatories to this statement are extremely concerned by the decision made by the government of Senegal to invite Sudanese President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir to the third Global Festival for Black Arts (FESMAN) and not to execute the arrest warrant issued against him by the International Criminal Court.
By acting this way, the government of Senegal would seriously breach its international obligations under the Rome Statute, which Senegal was the first state to ratify on February 2, 1999. It would also marginalize the country within the international community and would confirm Senegal’s Reputation as a ‘Land of Impunity’. Signatories [of the present statement] urge all Senegalese and human rights defenders on the African continent to oppose the ongoing propaganda against the ICC through peaceful demonstrations, information and outreach, and to fight with determination so that the alleged authors of serious human rights violations face prosecutions before an independent and impartial jurisdiction. …”

II. RELATED NEWS COVERAGE
1. “NGOs ask Senegalese Judicial Authorities to Arrest Omar Al-Bashir and to turn him over to the International Criminal Court” [“Des ong invitent les autorités judiciaires sénégalaises à arrêter Omar El Béchir et le livrer à la Cour pénale internationale”], Dakar Online, 8 December 2010, http://www.dakaronline.net/Des-ong-invitent-les-autorites-judiciaires-senegalaises-a-arreter-Omar-El-Bechir-et-le-livrer-a-la-Cour-penale_a8796.html [French]
2. «Human rights organisations up in arms against the visit of Sudanese president to Dakar » [« Contre la venue du président soudanais à Dakar : Les organisations de défense des droits de l’homme s’érigent en bouclier »], Walf Fadjri, 8 December 2010, http://www.walf.sn/international/suite.php?rub=6&id_art=69397
3. “Organizations worried by a possible visit of Omar Al-Bashir to Dakar,” [« Des organisations préoccupées par une éventuelle visite d’Omar El Bechir à Dakar, »] APS, 25 November 2010, http://www.aps.sn/aps.php?page=articles&id_article=74333
4. "Will President al-Bashir be attending the World Festival for the Black Arts and Cultures (FESMAN)?" ["Le Président Bashir sera-t-il l'hôte du Fesman?"], by Seydi Gassama, President of Amnesty International for Wal Fadjri, 15 November 2010, http://www.walf.sn/ and on http://fr.allafrica.com/stories/201011151787.html [French]

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CICC's policy on the referral and prosecution of situations before the ICC: The Coalition for the ICC is not an organ of the court. The CICC is an independent NGO movement dedicated to the establishment of the International Criminal Court as a fair, effective, and independent international organization. The Coalition will continue to provide the most up-to-date information about the ICC and to help coordinate global action to effectively implement the Rome Statute of the ICC. The Coalition will also endeavor to respond to basic queries and to raise awareness about the ICC's trigger mechanisms and procedures, as they develop. The Coalition as a whole, and its secretariat, do not endorse or promote specific investigations or prosecutions or take a position on situations before the ICC. However, individual CICC members may endorse referrals, provide legal and other support on investigations, or develop partnerships with local and other organizations in the course of their efforts.
Communications to the ICC can be sent to: ICC P.O. box 19519 2500 CM the Hague The Netherlands

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