SUDAN WATCH: Sudan Tribune's shameless political activism masquerading as hard news to whip up a storm when peoples lives are at stake ought to be challenged

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Sudan Tribune's shameless political activism masquerading as hard news to whip up a storm when peoples lives are at stake ought to be challenged

This post was drafted for Sudan Watch today, Saturday, 7 February 2009, 10:11 am GMT. Here below is a copy of an article published at Paris based Sudan Tribune Saturday 7 February 2009 04:30. Note the headline they have used: ICC judges issue an arrest warrant for Sudan president.

From what I can gather on the latest news reports, the ICC's judges have not issued an arrest warrant for Sudan president. I am posting the Sudan Tribune's article here today as a mark of outrage at their political activism masquerading as hard news for pro rebel anti-government supporters. It is most irresponsible of them on such a serious issue and sneaky not to reference the source of their claims. For all we know they just make stuff up and stick the word WASHINGTON into their article to make it seem like the news was from elsewhere.

Going by the comments at the article (30 so far) nobody cares to question the veracity of the article's headline. If the headline turns out to be true, does it mean that the Sudan Tribune simply made it up in advance of the event or is information being manipulated and leaked by the ICC to such an extent that it reaches a France based pro-rebel propaganda rag ahead of mainstream media pros who have codes of conduct to abide by? More on this later when the truth emerges.

Meanwhile, if the headline of the article is untrue one would expect the ICC to immediately contact Sudan Tribune and force them to retract the headline and issue a public apology. I shall continue to nitpick at what the Sudan Tribune gets up to because sneaky propaganda can be like a free rolling snowball leading to an uncontrollable avalanche. Whatever, in my view, the Sudan Tribune is guilty of manipulating its readership by whipping up a storm of expectations, emotion and hatred in preparation for the possibility that UN Security Council members may invoke Article 16 to suspend any arrest warrant for twelve months.
ICC judges issue an arrest warrant for Sudan president
February 6, 2009 (WASHINGTON) — The Judges of the International Criminal Court (ICC) will soon release a decision in which they agree to issue an arrest warrant for Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir, Sudan Tribune has learnt.

Sudan's President Omar Al-Bashir

The ruling that could be made public as early as next week will make Bashir the most senior figure to be indicted by The Hague based court.

The Pre-Trial Chamber I which is assigned the Darfur case has been reviewing an application submitted by prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo last July requesting an arrest warrant for Bashir on three counts of genocide, five of crimes against humanity and two of murder

There was no confirmation on which counts the warrant was issued for, but one source suggested that it will include the charges of genocide, which is considered the gravest crime in international law.

Last week the ICC prosecutor sent an urgent notification to the Judges after which they met with him on Tuesday in a closed session along with the court’s Registrar Silvana Arbia along with representatives from the Victims and Witnesses Unit (VWU).

The meeting likely discussed measures taken to discuss risks associated with unsealing the warrant.

The decision, which remains under seal, will be transmitted to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon shortly according to multiple sources. The ICC prosecutor is currently present in New York.

This week Ban who was present at the African Union summit warned that Bashir must adhere to any decision made by the ICC.

“He [Bashir] should fully cooperate with the decision of the ICC” Ban told a press conference on the sidelines of the summit.

Arab, Islamic and African countries have called on the UN Security Council (UNSC) to defer the indictment to so as not to jeopardize the peace process.

The warrant may make it difficult and even embarassing for world officials to meet with Al-Bashir or to receive him on their territories.

European Union (EU) laws prohibit their officials from meeting with individuals charged by the ICC.

The UN and many other Western embassies in the Sudanese capital have created security plans aimed at protecting their staff from any possible backlash following the decision.

Sudanese officials have pledged to ensure safety of Western missions and UN staff but cautioned that they may not be able to control any outlaws.

The UN Security Council (UNSC) issued resolution 1593 under chapter VII in March 2005 referring the situation in Darfur to the ICC following recommendation a UN commission of inquiry into abuses committed in the war ravaged region.
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Related reports

Sudan Watch Monday, February 09, 2009
UK's Special Representative for Sudan, Michael O'Neill, says Bashir's indictment could destroy Sudanese unity and derail peace process in Darfur

Sudan Watch Monday, February 09, 2009:
ICC Prosecutor’s keynote address at Yale's conference: “The Pursuit of International Criminal Justice: The Case of Darfur”

Sudan Watch Sunday, February 08, 2009:
ICC prosecutor tells audience at Yale University decision on Sudan president arrest warrant to be made ‘in a few days’?

Sudan Watch Sunday, February 08, 2009:
2009 could be a make or break year for the CPA and for the prospect of peace in Sudan says UN envoy Qa`i


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