Prosecutor V. Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir

Relevant Sections:

▪ Art. 6(b); 7(1)(g) of the Rome Statute

▪ 1996 Code of Crimes against Peace, Security of Mankind


Charges (Gender Based Crimes):

▪ Rape as a crime against humanity;

▪ Causing serious bodily or mental harm (including through acts of rape) as an act of genocide


Facts of alleged crimes:

For the first time, ICC had issued an arrest warrant for a sitting head of state. Al Bashir, a Sudanese national had pursuant to a Common Plan conducted unlawful attacks against civilians including murder, rape, torture from 2003 to 2009 during an armed conflict wherein thousands of civilian women from specific ethnic communities (Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa in the territory of Dafur, Sudan) had been systemically targeted and raped. Survivors recorded statements attesting to incidents of gang rape, violence and forced starvation with phrases such as : ‘You, the black women we will exterminate you, you have no God’ being hurled.


Notable points in the ICC’s decision:

▪ In the Second Decision on the Prosecution’s Application for a Warrant of Arrest for Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir, the Prosecutor argued, and the Pre-Trial Chamber agreed, that sexual violence was an act of genocide through causing serious bodily or mental harm. Here, Chamber noted the rape of women within particular ethnic groups for the purpose of furthering genocide. However the charges for genocide were dropped a few months later since the ICC did not find the case strong enough. Instead an arrest warrant was issued for crimes against humanity and war crimes.

▪ The decision by the Pre-Trial Chamber II stated that irrespective of a person’s official status, all State Parties to the Rome Statute must arrest a suspect against whom an ICC warrant is issued.


Observations:

▪ Despite issue of warrants since way back in 2009, Al Bashir continues to evade arrest.


Read the full judgment here.