Is he or isn’t he: Bashir’s status as a war criminal…

Michelle at Stop Genocide does a great blog round-up (I say great because she’s great, but also because she includes yours truly):  Stop Genocide – The Blog-O-Sphere Responds to the ICC Leaks (Alternate Title: Blogging Rulz).

In response to my early-morning speculation that the leak might be intended to serve as a sort of warning/test-of-the-waters, Kate at Wronging Rights remarks:

“Word on the street (by which I mean the actual streets of the Hague, where international justice rumors flow fast and hot like so much raw sewage) suggests that this may not be far off the mark. The general consensus seems to be that the only question left unsettled is when, not whether, the arrest warrant will be issued.”

Somewhat similarly, Mark at UN Dispatch added an interesting update to his post on the “very leaky” UN:

“UPDATE: On further reading, it seems that the NYT item that broke this story was datelined The Hague, not United Nations. This would suggest that the leak came from ICC, not UN sources, which adds another layer of intrigue.”

At ENOUGH, Maggie Fick gives us a glimpse at a new strategy paper on the meaning of the warrant:

“The ICC’s likely move could constitute the crucial missing ingredient to conflict resolution efforts in Sudan by providing justice and accountability for the horrific crimes against humanity that have been perpetrated by the warring parties in Sudan, primarily the Khartoum regime. Enough firmly holds that:

Peace without justice in Sudan would only bring an illusion of stability without addressing the primary forces driving the conflict.”

Maggie also sets us straight on the difference between and indictment and an arrest warrant.

That difference is worth highlighting:

An indictment is a criminal accusation, while an arrest warrant is a demand (and authorization) to apprehend a suspect.

The ICC does not technically issue indictments, it issues arrest warrants. When the term “indictment” is used when discussing the ICC, it is used informally as a descriptive, not technical term. Since ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo requested an arrest warrant for President Bashir in July 2008, the ICC has been consistent in its strict use of the term “arrest warrant.”

I’d also like to draw your attention to Michael’s post over at’s Humanitarian Relief blog.  The headline and photo alone are worth it just for a little international justice related chuckle (we all need those every once in a while, right?)

Finally, read this article from Reuters:

Sudanese authorities have prevented aid agencies from getting food and water to more than 100,000 people in three areas in Darfur, U.N. officials said on Thursday.

The U.N.’s humanitarian coordinator Ameerah Haq called for immediate access to Muhajiriya, Sheria and Labado in south Darfur, where civilians have been caught in the middle of recent clashes between rebels and Sudanese forces. The request came at a sensitive time for Sudan’s government which is waiting for judges from the International Criminal Court to decide on whether to issue an arrest warrant against Sudan’s leader on charges of masterminding war crimes in Darfur.

Then check out some impassioned commentary from my Twitter pal, gaylemaree (in Twitterese, we read from bottom to top, so start with “1/3”):


About Martha Heinemann Bixby

Advocacy. Politics. Life. Martha Heinemann Bixby.
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