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Sudan: Civil society urges government to ratify Rome Statute
05 Oct 2005
Please find below the press release from the FIDH (International Federation of Human Rights) and SOAT (Sudanese Organization Against
Torture) sponsored workshop on the ICC held in Khartoum on October 2-3, 2005.

Best Wishes,

Anjali Kamat
Outreach Liaison for the Middle East, North Africa and Europe Coalition for the International Criminal Court


FIDH-SOAT workshop in Khartoum
Sudanese civil society urges the government to ratify the ICC Statute and calls for the creation of a national coalition for the ICC

The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and its affiliate member, Sudan Organization against Torture (SOAT), together with its local partners, the Khartoum Center for Human Rights and Environment Development and the Amal Center for Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture, organized a round table on "International Criminal Court and Sudan ? Access to justice and place of victims" in Khartoum (Sudan), October 2-3, 2005.

This round table was held in cooperation with the CICC, REDRESS, the International Human Rights Law Institute and the Sudanese Advisory Council for Human Rights.

This training and information workshop was of great importance as it was the first event in Sudan on this issue after the Security Council's referral of the situation in Darfur to the Prosecutor of the ICC. It also took place while serious violations of human rights and humanitarian law were resuming in that region.

90 persons did attend the workshop, mainly representatives of the human rights organizations of the Sudanese civil society including a significant number of lawyers coming from all regions of Sudan, notably Darfur, as well as officials of the Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, officers from the military judiciary, and representatives of the European Union and of the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS).

The first day, national and international experts provided an overview of the law and the functioning of the ICC, on the on going cases before the ICC, and on the participation and protection of victims.
The second day, a very interesting debate arose between the participants on whether the Security Council's referral impedes Sudanese national sovereignty and about the complementarity principle, in particular with regard to the first cases brought before the Special Court for Darfur.

The main recommendations that came out of the three working group sessions were:
- the creation of a national coalition for the ICC aiming at the ratification of the Rome Statute by Sudan
- the need for a public campaign of information on the ICC system
- the need for training on international justice mechanisms
- the need to bring national legislation in line with the international human rights and humanitarian law standards