Sudan's premier backs demands for justice as ICC prosecutor visits

Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda (C), poses with Sudanese officials during her visit to the ministry of justice in Khartoum on October 18, 2020. (AFP)
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Updated 18 October 2020

Sudan's premier backs demands for justice as ICC prosecutor visits

  • The ICC issued arrest warrants against Bashir in 2009 and 2010 on charges of war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity
  • The delegation, led by Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, arrived in Sudan late on Saturday to discuss the cases

KHARTOUM: Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok said on Sunday his government was committed to achieving justice as an International Criminal Court (ICC) delegation visited for the first time since the overthrow of ex-leader Omar Al-Bashir.
The ICC issued arrest warrants against Bashir in 2009 and 2010 on charges of war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity during his campaign to crush a revolt in Darfur in which an estimated 300,000 people died.
The delegation, led by Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, arrived in Sudan late on Saturday to discuss the cases of Bashir and two other former officials wanted by ICC.
Bensouda also met the powerful deputy leader of Sudan's ruling council, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, who said the government was willing to cooperate with the court, state news agency SUNA reported.
Though Sudanese transitional authorities have said they will work with the ICC for those accused of war crimes to appear before the tribunal, it is unclear where and how hearings would take place.
Bashir and the two other former officials, Ahmed Haroun and Abdel Raheem Muhammad Hussein, were jailed after the uprising that led to Bashir's overthrow in April last year.
"Sudan's commitment to achieving justice is not only part of international obligations, but also comes in response to popular demands to establish justice," a cabinet statement cited Hamdok as saying as he met the ICC delegation.
Bashir has already been sentenced to two years in prison on corruption charges and is currently on trial over the military coup in which he took power in 1989.
His lawyer has denounced the various charges against the former president as politically motivated.
Hamdok's civilian government is working under a military-civilian ruling council during a three-year transition that is meant to lead to elections.


UK summons Iran envoy as Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe faces return to jail

Updated 3 sec ago

UK summons Iran envoy as Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe faces return to jail

  • Husband Richard Ratcliffe: Iran has ordered Nazanin to report to court for a new trial on Monday and then back to jail
  • Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab: Britain has made it clear to Iran “that is entirely unjustified and totally unacceptable and must not happen”

LONDON: Britain on Friday warned Iran against throwing detained woman Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe back in jail, after hauling in Tehran’s envoy for a dressing-down over her emotive case.
The Foreign Office summoned Ambassador Hamid Baeidinejad on Thursday to hear renewed demands from a senior official for an end to the British-Iranian captive’s “arbitrary detention.”
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told BBC radio Zaghari-Ratcliffe was in a “horrific position,” after her husband said Iran has ordered her to report to court for a new trial on Monday and then back to jail.
Britain has made it clear to Iran “that is entirely unjustified and totally unacceptable and must not happen,” Raab said.
Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who will turn 42 on Boxing Day, has been on temporary release from Tehran’s Evin prison and under house arrest since earlier this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
She has spent more than four years in jail or under house arrest since being detained in the Iranian capital in April 2016 while visiting relatives with her young daughter.
Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who worked for the Thomson Reuters Foundation — the media organization’s philanthropic arm — denied charges of sedition but was convicted and jailed for five years.
Her husband Richard Ratcliffe said this week that the Foreign Office’s handling of the case “seems disastrous,” and that “the UK is dancing to Iran’s tune.”
Raab told the BBC: “We’ve made it very clear we want to try to put the relationship between the UK and Iran on a better footing.
“If Nazanin is returned to prison, that will of course put our discussions and the basis of those discussions in a totally different place. It is entirely unacceptable.”
Richard Ratcliffe linked the latest development to the postponement of a hearing that was due to take place on Tuesday in London to address Iran’s longstanding demand for the repayment by Britain of hundreds of millions from an old military equipment order.
“As Nazanin’s husband, I do think that if she’s not home for Christmas, there’s every chance this could run for years,” he said, accusing Iran of “hostage diplomacy.”