It is time to stand up to governments who refuse to meet their obligations under international law to arrest Bashir. We owe the people of Darfur no less.

bashir-header-for-blogFour years ago, an arrest warrant was issued for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, citing his crimes in Darfur. Yet, he remains free to this day.

Seeking international justice, today we are launching BashirWatch — a network of global citizens that will pressure governments to uphold their obligation to arrest Bashir. We need your help — sign up to be part of our rapid response network. Together we will bring Bashir to justice.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir is the only sitting head of state who is wanted for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity for atrocities he ordered in Darfur. Four years after his arrest warrant was issued, why is he still free to commit his crimes free of consequence?

Members of the United Nations Security Council, along with 121 countries who are members of the International Criminal Court (ICC), have a legal obligation to arrest Bashir. Yet there is insufficient political will to deliver Bashir to the ICC for trial.

That’s where you come in.

Today we are launching BashirWatch — a grassroots international rapid-response network to pressure policymakers, government representatives, court officials, and other key decision makers, especially in Africa and the Middle East, to support the ICC’s warrant for Bashir, bring him into custody and transfer him to the ICC for trial.

Together, we will create the international pressure necessary to turn those who welcome Bashir onto their soil into international pariahs. It must be made clear — if you harbor a wanted criminal, you will be held accountable. After the Darfur genocide, we cried “never again,” and promised to seek justice for the victims, but there are few signs of criminal pursuit of Bashir, though the international community knows exactly where he is, where he has traveled and often where he is going.

Just a few short weeks ago, Bashir visited Chad and is reported to return by the end of the month. And in the last year, he has traveled to Egypt, Iraq, Qatar and Libya. None of these countries have suffered any repercussions for their actions.

Yet, we know progress is possible. The country of Malawi, under international pressure last year, decided to cancel a meeting of the African Union, rather than allow Bashir to visit. A Kenyan court has ordered his arrest should he visit again. And Uganda denied him entry, citing “How does Uganda urge the DRC and others to apprehend Kony if they lay their hands on them but then let Bashir slip through its hands?”

While the world sits idly by, we need action now. Bashir is continuing his crimes with impunity. Aerial bombardments and attacks against civilians have moved beyond Darfur to the border states of Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan.

In 2011 and 2012, more than 500,000 Sudanese civilians were driven from their homes by government action in the states of Blue Nile and South Kordofan. In these states, Bashir is using similar tactics to those he used in Darfur: direct ground attacks, aerial bombardment, and the use of food as a weapon through blockade of humanitarian aid.

I hope you will stand with BashirWatch to make sure that these crimes stop, that impunity is no longer an option, that justice prevails, and that Bashir and others have to answer for their crimes. It is time to stand up for justice and stand up to governments who refuse to meet their obligations under international law to arrest Bashir. We owe the people of Darfur no less.

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