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Amnesty: Sudan: Refer Darfur crimes to ICC

Sudan: Refer Darfur crimes to ICC, but no impunity for peacekeepers

(New York) Amnesty International urges members of the Security Council to refer crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Sudan to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. Amnesty International welcomes the unprecedented initiative by France to seek the referral in a draft resolution expected to be put to a vote tomorrow.

Amnesty International hopes that a decision will be reached without delay. However, the organization is seriously concerned that the current draft resolution seeks to give impunity from prosecution for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes to nationals from countries that have not ratified the Rome Statute of the ICC, and who are sent to Sudan to participate in a UN operation. This provision would, if included in a referral, be contrary to the Rome Statute, to the Charter of the United Nations and to other international law.

Amnesty International is also concerned that some other members of the Security Council are reportedly discussing an amendment to the French proposal that would broaden the scope of the proposed impunity provision even further and extend it until 2009, the date that states parties to the Rome Statute are scheduled to review it to determine whether any amendments are needed.

For the sake of justice for the numerous victims of the gravest human rights abuses that have been committed in Sudan, Amnesty International calls on all Council members to resist any attempts to broaden the impunity provisions in the French proposal. Security Council members must respect the fundamental principle of equality of all before the law by not establishing exceptions to international justice.

The organization has long campaigned for a referral of the crimes committed in Sudan to the ICC Prosecutor as a first step towards bringing justice to Sudan after two decades of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Take action! Sudan: Time to catch the criminals

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