Friday, July 18, 2008

WMDC to help ICC to indict President al-Bashir

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
contact person: Mohamed I. Elgadi
Tel. 215-870-7809

Amherst MA--The Western Mass. Darfur Coalition-WMDC-vigorously welcomes the announcement of the International Criminal Court’s prosecutor of charges to indict President Omar al-Bashir for his war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. The Sudanese victims and survivors of President al-Bashir’s regime who live in the Pioneer Valley expressed comfort at the Monday, July 14th announcement. “At least the international community is showing some strong signs to serve the delayed justice for my people,” said Abu Asal, member of WMDC and one of the torture survivors from Darfur. The fate of his sister, a teacher, is unknown since she was ‘disappeared’ last year while walking to her school in the suburbs of Nyala, S. Darfur.

The crimes of President al-Bashir's regime in Darfur did not start in 2003. (The ICC indictment was limited to this date.) For more than 19 years, his regime continued to wage war against its own people with little or no action from the international community. For the first time in the recent history of states, the regime adopted torture as an official policy to punish peaceful opposition. Torture Centers, known as Ghost Houses, spread all over the country. The mass killing and targeting of specific ethnic groups began in the early 1990s when al-Bashir assigned the region of Darfur to one of his close military aides, Tayeb Sikha. However, over the past five years the destruction of the Darfur people reached its high point as correctly noted by the ICC prosecutor in his report.

In November 2006 WMDC actively participated in having President al-Bashir put on trial by the world peoples. The International Citizens’ Tribunal for Sudan (ICTS), chaired by Nigerian Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka, found al-Bashir guilty of 15 different charges. Ten of these counts were included in the indictment case of the ICC prosecutor. In addition, WMDC was behind the large educational Darfur campaign that led to the adoption of Darfur Resolutions in many cities and towns in MA.

“We will continue to cooperate with the office of the ICC Prosecutor until justice is served in this new indictment”, said Mohamed Elgadi, member of WMDC, who was also one of the witnesses at the ICTS court. “We will be providing an important potential court witness in the ICC, and we are not revealing the name for her/his own safety. ”

WMDC calls on our local legislators and the human rights community to welcome and support the announcement of the General Prosecutor of the ICC


The Western Massachusetts Darfur Coalition is an advocacy human rights-focused membership group of activists in the Pioneer Valley (MA). It works to educate the public about the crisis in the Darfur region (Sudan) and mobilize our community to take action to stop the genocide. For more information on this PR and the work of WMDC, please contact Mohamed Elgadi @ 215-870-7809 or by email: mohamedelgadi@yahoo.com or visit our weblog: www.DarfurWM.blogspot.com

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