Petition to ICC on Al-Bashir

Fatou Bensouda
Prosecutor, International Criminal Court
Po Box 195192500 CM, The Hague
The Netherlands

15 July 2013

Dear Ms Fatou Bensouda:

Re: Request to refer Nigeria to UN Security Council pursuant to Article 87 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court for failing to arrest Sudanese President al-Bashir

I am writing to you as Solicitor to the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), and I have the instructions of my client to send this petition to you to request that you use your good offices and position to urgently refer the Nigerian government to the UN Security Council for failing to arrest President Omar Al-Bashir and surrender him to the International Criminal Court to face fair trial on the charges against him.

SERAP is a Nigerian based human rights non-governmental organization, and whose mandates include the promotion of respect for internationally recognized human rights of Nigerians, through litigation, research and publications, advocacy and monitoring.

Nigeria is a state party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court having ratified the Statute in September 2001.

President Omar Al-Bashir is currently in Abuja attending a conference. SERAP notes that the International Criminal Court already issued two arrest warrants for Omar Al-Bashir for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in Darfur. The warrants, issued in 2009 and 2010, charge him with criminal responsibility on 10 counts, including murder, extermination, forcible transfer of population, torture and rape.

Similarly, when the UN Security Council referred the situation in Darfur to the ICC in 2005, it urged all states to co-operate fully with the Court.  According to the ICC, Bashir’s official capacity as head of state does not exclude criminal responsibility or get him immunity.

In 2009, the ICC Prosecutor acting pursuant to article 89 of the Rome Statute issued a Decision requesting all states parties to the Rome Statute to cooperate with the court in the Omar Al-Bashir case. Similarly, under article 87, the ICC Prosecutor can refer a state party that refuses to cooperate with a request from the ICC, to the Assembly of States Parties or, where the Security Council referred the matter to the Court as in this case, to the Security Council.

The ICC has already exercised this power with respect to Chad and Kenya and we urge you to exercise your authority in this case to refer the Nigerian government to the UN Security Council for failing to arrest President Omar Al-Bashir and surrender him to the ICC.

While thanking you in advance of your attention, I look forward to continued dialogue on the issues raise in this petition.

Yours sincerely,
Femi Falana
Solicitor to SERAP

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Category: Campaign