Eugene Kontorovich at the Washington Post writes:
The President of Sudan was allowed to leave South Africa unmolested today, despite courts in the country ordering his arrest on a genocide warrant. The International Criminal Court, pursuing a case launched by the Security Council, issued warrants for Bashir’s arrest years ago. Yet he has roamed the globe with impunity.
The free pass given to Bashir is another in a series of major blows to the credibility of the ICC – and in this case, the Security Council. If member states like South Africa do not take the Court seriously in cases that do not even involve its own nationals, it is hard to expect non-members to do so.
While refusing treaty obligations to arrest the world’s leading genocidaire – known of course for his campaign against black Africans in Darfur – might seem unconscionable, Bashir has his defenders.
The charges by the ICC are
- forcible transfer
- intentionally directing attacks against civilians
Among them is Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who vocally opposes the ICC process against Bashir. “We must also take a decisive stance of solidarity alongside fraternal Sudan and President Omar al-Bashir,” Abbas has said. He has has also expressed his “solidarity” with the Sudanese despot, and categorically rejected enforcement of the ICC warrant. …
Thus even as the Palestinians got the ICC to bend its rules about statehood to join, they were advocating the defiance of the Court’s writ in the single most important and grave kind of case, genocide cases initiated by the Security Council. In short, the Palestinians seek to exempt genocidaires from the Court’s jurisdiction while pushing for it to prosecute Israelis for allowing Jews to live in Jerusalem. The PA is involved in the trivialization and corruption of the Court from both ends.
It is a good example of the double standards at play. If there is no sanction for countries to ignore ICC warrants, then there seems little point in having an ICC. Countries that refuse to extradite, should be expelled from the convention.