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Former ICC Darfur Counsel calls for Commission to probe Tabit mass rape

February 18 - 2015 DARFUR
Former Counsel for the Defence of Darfur cases at the International Criminal Court (ICC), Dr El Hadi Shalluf (Al-Jazeera TV)
Former Counsel for the Defence of Darfur cases at the International Criminal Court (ICC), Dr El Hadi Shalluf (Al-Jazeera TV)

International law expert and former Counsel for the Defence of Darfur cases at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Dr El Hadi Shalluf, has welcomed the report by Human Rights Watch (HRW) on the mass rape of women in Tabit in October 2014.

In an interview with Dabanga about Tabit, the French-Libyan Dr Shalluf confirmed that the HRW report “is credible and reliable and that instead of the [Sudanese] Government’s satisfaction with denial, it should form an international Commission of Inquiry to follow-up the case”.

Dr Shalluf stressed that the Government’s denial is neither in the interests of Justice, nor Sudan, nor those affected. He said that “HRW and Amnesty International have no vested political interest in the news or information that would harm any entity. The issue is a legal one and all parties must accept the formation of an international commission of inquiry.”

He indirectly criticised ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda of the ICC for announcing suspension of the proceedings on Darfur before the UN Security Council.

“This is as very serious and a dangerous precedent that indicates that the case is almost non-existent before the International Criminal Court. The danger of the Prosecutor's decision is that the Prosecutor stopped the procedures without taking legal action in the case.”

Asked whether the Prosecutor's decision to discontinue the investigation procedures would affect the arrest warrants against President Omar El Bashir, his Defence Minister Abdelrahim, the Governor of North Kordofan Ahmed Haroun, and the militia leader Ali Kosheib, Dr Shalluf said “as long as the Prosecutor announced that she will not take action on this subject, certainly the subject is related to the whole case of Darfur… this is a legal principle, as suspension of procedures means suspension of the arrest warrant.”

Dr Shalluf says “now that Human Rights Watch has proved in its report the rape of 221 women and girls in Tabit, the case must be added to the ICC file despite the Prosecutor’s suspension of procedures.”

He appealed of the victims to sue the State and bring their cases before the judiciary. He stressed that “following the ICC’s suspension of the proceedings, the Sudanese should now record facts themselves before they become outdated, and bring cases to be argued before the Government or International Justice”.

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