Creating new perspectives since 2009

Sudan and Czech Republic in diplomatic row

April 5, 2017 at 5:32 pm

Sudan has responded angrily to a tweet by the Czech Foreign Ministry expressing regret that the Sudanese president Omar Al-Bashir was not handed over by the Arab League for alleged war crimes to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.

In a press release Tuesday issued by the Sudanese embassy in Prague, Sudan said it was unfortunate that such a tweet appeared only four weeks after Czech Foreign Minister, Lubomir Zaoralek, paid a visit to Sudan to thank President Omar Al-Bashir for granting a pardon to a convicted Czech citizen, Petr Jasek,

The Christian humanitarian activist Jasek was arrested in Sudan in 2015 and spent almost a year and a half in prison on charges of espionage and subversion. He was sentenced to more than 20 years by a Sudanese court, but the Sudanese president pardoned and ordered his release immediate release.

The Czech Republic petitioned Khartoum believing the conviction of the activists was mistaken and unsubstantiated. Jasek was released in late February.

The Czech foreign ministry tweeted last Thursday: “The Foreign Affairs Ministry expresses regret at the fact that President Bashir was not released to the International Criminal Court during his participation in the League of Arab States’ summit in Jordan.”

The Sudanese embassy said in the press release that the ICC court investigators did not respect international law and had no right to issue an arrest warrant to a head of state.  “The accusations against the President of the Republic for war crimes and crimes against humanity are unfounded,” the embassy said.

More than 120 countries are signatories to the Rome Statute of the ICC. However, the United States, Russia, China and Israel do not recognise the ICC’s powers. The Czech Republic joined the ICC in 2009.