Journalist Diana Mukkaled wrote an interesting piece last weekend in the Arabic Daily, Asharq Alawsat, about ICC prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo’s charges of genocide against Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir. She suggests that many in the Arab media have been too quick to condemn the charges, saying: Confronting the indictment must be preceded by proving the injustice […]

Journalist Diana Mukkaled wrote an interesting piece last weekend in the Arabic Daily, Asharq Alawsat, about ICC prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo’s charges of genocide against Sudanese president Omar
al-Bashir.

She suggests that many in the Arab media have been too quick to condemn the charges, saying:

Confronting the indictment must be preceded by proving the injustice that surrounds it. But for sovereignty to precede justice, this is a violation of the rights of those groups and victims, estimated at tens of thousands, as they remain in their [refugee] camps with no real indications of when their ordeal will be dealt with.

For the record, there is one factual inaccuracy in the article, where Mukkaled says,

Al Bashir is the third president that the International Criminal Court has filed accusations of this kind against after Liberian President Charles Taylor and former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic.

This is actually the first time the ICC has sought an arrest warrant for a sitting head of state. Charles Taylor was indicted by the Special Court for Sierra Leone and Slobodan Milosevic was indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

Both men were indicted by special courts set up specifically for Sierra Leone and the former Yugoslavia, not to be confused with the permanent International Criminal Court. (The ICC didn’t come into force until 2002 — three years after Milosevic was indicted.)

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