Darfur’s Rape Camps
WASHINGTON (RUSHPRNEWS) JULY 16, 2008- On Monday, the International Criminal Court indicted Sudan’s President Omar Al Bashir for genocide. He is charged with killing hundreds of thousands of people in Sudan and its Darfur region, and corralling the surviving women and girls into terrifying camps where they are being quietly and systematically raped until their peoples are destroyed.
In response, Al Bashir’s regime is threatening more terror against Darfurians and the UN, and appealing to powerful international friends who buy oil from and sell weapons to Sudan to give him protection. Al Bashir knows that he will be caught only if other governments, especially Arab and African governments, agree to help the International Criminal Court (for example by arresting him when he travels abroad).
Targeting Al Bashir is our best hope to end the terror of Darfur’s rape camps, and take a major step forward for international justice. Many of Sudan’s neighbours are Muslim countries where rape is a scandalous crime â€“ and Al Bashir’s henchmen have killed and raped thousands of Muslim women. To raise awareness of this, Avaaz is launching a large regional ad campaign, urging leaders to help the ICC. Our ads will run in just a few days, and a full page ad in an Egyptian newspaper is just 3000Euros($5000), so we need just 50,000 Euros ($75,000) to get our message across. Click below to help:
Many in the international community are concerned that this indictment will undermine attempts to make peace with Al Bashir, and even blame the ICC for threatening peace. Some of those concerns are just a cover for Sudan’s oil and arms dealing partners. Others are more legitimate, but must contend with Darfur’s victims and survivors, who have the most at stake, and are universally supportive of justice. They say they have seen Al Bashir break every agreement he has signed for 20 years, and that no lasting peace can be signed that leaves a genocidaire with the power to commit his crimes again.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) is a giant step forward for humankind â€“ a single global court, with the power to try any person who has committed the worst crimes against humanity. It has an independent prosecutor, Luis Moreno Ocampo of Argentina, and judges from Brazil, Latvia, and Ghana. This is the first time the ICC has indicted a sitting head of state, and all the world’s worst current and future mass criminals are watching closely. Let’s send them a clear message: that justice, and the rule of law, are on the march. Let’s help make it happen, and make sure that all our governments help the ICC to succeed in this first test, and end the terror of Darfur’s people.
Ricken, Mark, Graziela, Pascal, Paul, Veronique, Iain, Ben and the whole Avaaz team.
PS â€“ You can see report backs and achievements of recent Avaaz campaigns here: http://www.avaaz.org/en/report_back_1
Avaaz is a legally registered not for profit organization, and we do not receive any money from governments or corporations. We are funded and driven by our members, who come from every nation of the world.
PPS â€“ Here are some links to more information:
The full text of the International Criminal Court statement:
he Enough Project: “The Merits of Justice” (in Sudan)
New York Times: “Catching a war criminal in the act”
BBC: “Profile: Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir”
Avaaz.org is an independent, not-for-profit global campaigning organization that works to ensure that the views and values of the world’s people inform global decision-making. (Avaaz means “voice” in many languages.) Avaaz receives no money from governments or corporations, and is staffed by a global team based in London, Rio de Janeiro, New York, Paris, Washington DC, and Geneva.