Omar al-Bashir requests to be transferred from prison over COVID-19 fears

Image: Reuters

Omar al-Bashir was ousted from power in April 2019 by the military, following months of civilian protests against his 30-year rule.

Former Sudanese President, Omar al-Bashir has requested to be transferred from prison while relatives of his co-accused want them released following the news that one of Bashir’s former aides had contracted the deadly coronavirus.

Ahmed Haroun, a former Ministry of Interior official, is said to have contracted the disease at Kober Prison. Haroun was indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes in Darfur and is also accused of other crimes in the troubled South Kordofan region.

Bashir and the other detainees are accused of a range of crimes, including involvement in the country’s 1989 military coup, the killing of protesters and corruption.

Omar al-Bashir was ousted from power in April 2019 by the military, following months of civilian protests against his 30-year rule.

Sudan has so far reported 375 COVID-19 cases with 28 fatalities, according to the Ministry of Health.

In the video below, ICC wants Al-Bashir to stand trial

Sudan agrees former-President Bashir should appear before ICC over Darfur

Sudan’s government and rebel groups in Darfur agreed that all those wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC ) should appear before the tribunal, a list that includes ousted President Omar al-Bashir.

Bashir, who has been jailed in Khartoum since he was toppled after mass protests 2019, is wanted by the ICC for alleged war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity in Darfur.

Information Minister Faisal Saleh did not specifically name him when announcing the move, but said the decision applied to all five Sudanese suspects wanted by the ICC over Darfur.

Bashir is one of the five suspects.

The government and the rebel groups reached an agreement during a meeting in South Sudan’s capital Juba that included “the appearance of those who face arrest warrants before the International Criminal Court”, said Mohamed al-Hassan al-Taishi, a member of Sudan’s sovereign council.

Taishi also said that the two sides agreed to create a Darfur special court to investigate and hear cases including those investigated by the ICC.

That court would try Darfur suspects not indicted by the ICC, said Nimri Mohamed Abd, chief negotiator of the Darfur people in Juba. He said Darfur groups and Sudan’s government had agreed to “fully cooperate with the International Criminal Court”, and that the timing of the handover would be decided in final negotiations.

Bashir’s lawyer said the ex-president refused to have any dealings with the ICC because it was a “political court”.

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