London : Amnesty International is criticizing the Kenyan government for its failure to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir during celebrations ushering in Kenya’s new constitution today. The human rights organization says the refusal to arrest President al-Bashir is an obstruction of justice for victims in Darfur.
“Kenya has regrettably followed the example of Chad, which violated its obligations under international law by providing safe haven to President Bashir during his visit to the country last month,” said Michelle Kagari, deputy director of Amnesty International's Africa program. Kagari said: “It is disturbing that the Kenyan government is celebrating a new constitution – the national center-piece of the rule of law – while obstructing justice for victims of such serious human rights violations in a neighboring country.” The International Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant for al-Bashir for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in Darfur.
Kenya has ratified the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which obligates countries to cooperate with the court, including arresting persons it has charged.
Amnesty International regrets that African states – which led efforts to create the court – last month undermined their commitment to international justice by renewing an African Union decision not to arrest President al-Bashir.
Kagari said: “We are calling on those 31 African states that have ratified the Rome Statute to support international justice and uphold efforts to deliver justice, in particular in countries like Sudan where victims have no prospect of justice before national courts.”
Amnesty International is calling on all members of the international community to ensure full accountability for international crimes committed in Sudan. Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 2.8 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied. (Issued on:Friday, August 27, 2010)