Prague, April 4 (CTK) – Sudan has criticised the Czech Foreign Ministry for its statement that Sudanese president Omar Bashir should have been released to the International Criminal Court (ICC) at a meeting of the League of Arab States (LAS), the Sudanese embassy in Prague said in a press release on Tuesday.
The ICC prosecutes Bashir on suspicion of committing genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.
“The Foreign Affairs Ministry expresses regret at the fact that President Bashir was not released to the International Criminal Court during his participation in the League of Arab States’ summit in Jordan,” Czech diplomacy tweeted last Thursday.
It is unfortunate that such a tweet appeared only four weeks after Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek, accompanied by an official delegation, including his spokeswoman, paid a visit to Sudan to thank, on behalf of the Czech government, for the presidential pardon that the president of the Republic of the Sudan, Omar Bashir, granted to convicted Czech citizen Petr Jasek, the Sudanese embassy writes.
Christian humanitarian activist Jasek was arrested in Sudan, where he says he was on a missionary expedition aimed to help local Christians, in 2015. He spent 14.5 months in prison on the basis of fabricated charges of espionage and subversion. He was sentenced to more than 20 years by a Sudanese court in January. The president granted him pardon and ordered his release eventually.
Czech diplomacy has since the beginning considered Jasek’s accusation and conviction unsubstantiated and was striving for his release. Zaoralek brought him home in late February.
The Sudanese embassy also reiterates in its press release that Sudan does not recognise the ICC. The court investigators did not respect international law by accusing the head of state and the accusations of Bashir are unfounded, the embassy said.
More than 120 countries are the ICC members. However, the United States, Russia, China and Israel do not recognise the ICC’s powers. The Czech Republic joined the ICC in 2009.
The ICC, seated in the Hague, Netherlands, is the first independent international penal tribunal with the aim to try the perpetrators of crimes against humanity, genocide and war crimes all over the world.