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memri
March 27, 2012 No.
4607

Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir: 'The U.S. Is Not Qualified... To Talk About Human Rights Or Justice'

Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on charges of war crimes and genocide, is set to attend the Arab League summit this week in Baghdad, according to an Iraqi television channel. [1] It was reported that an Iraqi foreign ministry official said last week that Interpol had officially notified Baghdad of its intent to arrest Al-Bashir should he attend the summit; however, the ministry later denied receiving any such notification and emphasized that Bashir's security was "100% guaranteed."[2]

Iraq is not signatory to the Rome Statute of the Hague-based court and thus is not legally obligated to apprehend Al-Bashir. Furthermore, the 2005 United Nations Security Council resolution referring Darfur to the ICC made cooperation for non-state parties optional, not mandatory.[3]

Earlier this month, in an interview that aired March 14 on Al-Jazeera TV, Al-Bashir criticized the U.S. for its failure to sign the Rome Statute, and added that it was "not qualified... in light of its early history, its recent history, and its present... to talk about human rights or justice."

Following are excerpts from the interview:


 

Omar Al-Bashir: "If the U.S. believes in the ICC, why didn't it sign the Rome Statute? It is not a state party to the Rome Statute, yet it is the loudest speaker on its behalf.

"The U.S. decided that its citizens and officials would not be tried in this court. If the U.S. is indeed convinced that this court is just, why does it prevent the trial of its own citizens there? This is a colonialist law.

"We say that [the U.S.] is not qualified… In light of its early history, its recent history, and its present, the U.S. is not qualified to talk about human rights or justice. The Americans annihilated the Indians, who were the natives there. The Americans transported millions of Africans as slaves to support the U.S. economy. It was America that attacked the Vietnamese for no reason, using all the [internationally] prohibited weapons. It was the U.S. that occupied and destroyed Iraq over a lie." […]

 

Endnotes:

[1] CNN.com, March 25, 2012.

[2] Sudan.net, March 23, 2012.

[3] Sudan.net, March 23, 2012.