Sudan: Legal Experts Urge ICC to Dispatch Team to Probe War Crimes in Darfur

International Criminal Court (ICC) Persecutor Karim Khan (AFP)
International Criminal Court (ICC) Persecutor Karim Khan (AFP)
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Sudan: Legal Experts Urge ICC to Dispatch Team to Probe War Crimes in Darfur

International Criminal Court (ICC) Persecutor Karim Khan (AFP)
International Criminal Court (ICC) Persecutor Karim Khan (AFP)

The ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan urged civil society organizations to provide any evidence and material to aid an urgent investigation into allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Sudan’s Darfur region.
“We’re asking national authority counterparts, State parties and non-State parties alike, to share any evidence... in relation to these profound allegations of international crimes that are increasingly emerging and cannot be ignored,” Khan said following an attack on the South Hospital in al-Fasher, the capital city of North Darfur province on Sunday.
In a statement on X, Khan said he was “particularly concerned by the ethnically motivated nature” of attacks on civilian populations, especially in the western Darfur region, asking people to provide evidence so the ICC could investigate further.
Legal expert Hatem Elias told Asharq Al-Awsat on Wednesday that “the Darfur file being investigated by the ICC is still open based on Security Council resolutions and previous court investigations that led to the charges against former President Omar al-Bashir, and a number of his aides.”
Elias said that previous Security Council resolutions granting the ICC the power to prosecute crimes against humanity “enabled the court to collect strong evidence confirming that crimes against humanity were committed in Darfur.”
For his part, legal expert and human rights activist El Moez Hadra told Asharq Al-Awsat that Khan’s appeal reveal that the ICC is interested to investigate the fresh attacks on al-Fasher and at the same time, continue to respect the 2005 Security Council resolution that referred the situation in Darfur to the ICC Prosecutor for investigations into allegations of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
“The ICC is currently questioning old and new suspects,” he said.
But the legal expert appealed to the ICC Prosecutor to form an international commission of inquiry that visits Sudan and provides its own evidence rather than just urge organizations to offer information.
Khan, as a public prosecutor, has the right to form an ICC commission tasked to collect factual evidence rather than ask for information from activists and human rights defenders, who are at risk and are being killed and detained by both warring sides in Sudan, Hadra affirmed.
He based his request on the well-known Security Council “Cassese Commission” that investigated war crimes in Darfur. The commission was led by the Italian Antonio Cassese and Egyptian Mohammed Fayek, who visited Darfur and wrote their own report on the situation in the country, the expert explained.
Hadra said Khan’s appeal for organizations to provide the court with evidence is “useless.”
“It’s not going to help the court because evidence is lost over time and witnesses are moving to other places... It is important to send an ICC field team that has international protection,” Hadra said, adding that Sudanese teams and lawyers are getting killed while investigating war crimes in the country.

 



Syrian Observatory: Türkiye Forcibly Deporting Thousands of Syrians

Syrian refugees at one of the crossings between Türkiye and Syria (Syrian Observatory for Human Rights)
Syrian refugees at one of the crossings between Türkiye and Syria (Syrian Observatory for Human Rights)
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Syrian Observatory: Türkiye Forcibly Deporting Thousands of Syrians

Syrian refugees at one of the crossings between Türkiye and Syria (Syrian Observatory for Human Rights)
Syrian refugees at one of the crossings between Türkiye and Syria (Syrian Observatory for Human Rights)

Türkiye has forcibly deported early in July, 3,540 Syrians with temporary protection identity cards to northern Syria, in addition to 840 refugees in the past 7 days, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Friday
“Turkish authorities forcibly detained more than 125 Syrian families, including children and women, in deportation centers in the province of Kayseri, as Ankara is preparing to send them back to Syria,” SOHR said.
It added that on Friday, 120 Syrians were already deported through the Turkish border crossings towards northern Syria.
According to the Observatory, “Türkiye is forcibly deporting more than 100 Syrians every day, most of them holding temporary protection ID card (Kimlik), with the aim of settling them in areas under its control in the Euphrates Shield, the Olive Branch and the Peace Spring.
SOHR condemned the “humiliating way and inhumane treatment” by Turkish authorities towards Syrian refugees forcibly being deported back to their country.
It also called on the international community to “assume its responsibilities towards protecting Syrian refugees in Türkiye and prevent their deportation under the pretext of sending them to a safe zone.”
The Turkish government said on Friday it was deporting at least seven Syrians for “provocatively” sharing their images while eating bananas on social media after a Turkish citizen complained that he cannot afford bananas while the refugees can, according to Bloomberg.
Three weeks ago, tensions rose between Turks and Syrian refugees after the arrest of a Syrian man who had been accused of harassing a child.
Turkish police then arrested 474 of people during anti-Syrian riots in several cities, damaging businesses and properties belonging to the Syrians.