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International brief ~ Sudan president possible target for UN sanctions

[JURIST] Leading Thursday's international brief, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir [BBC profile] has been named among possible target for UN Security Council [official website] sanctions being considered against high-ranking officials in the Sudanese government that are thought to be complicit in human rights abuses currently occurring in Darfur [JURIST news archive]. A leaked report named al-Bashir as a possible target and also identified the Sudanese defense and interior ministers as well as the head of national intelligence as confirmed targets should the sanctioning resolution be approved. The UN has faced increasing pressure to take action in Darfur, and referred the situation [JURIST report] to the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] last year for investigation. Sudan has repeatedly stated that it will not extradite [JURIST report] any individuals to an international court, instead insisting that its own war crimes tribunal is adequately handling the issue of human rights abuses in Darfur. The Financial Times has more.

In other international legal news ...

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin [official website] met with the UN's High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour [official profile] to discuss Russia's attitude concerning NGO involvement in human rights issues. Putin declared Russia's eagerness to accept human rights support from NGOs, especially from international organizations like the UN, but warned that he believed the burden of dealing with human rights rests upon the government. Russia has come under increasing attack for its recent crackdown on human rights organizations under the recently enacted NGO bill [JURIST report]. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Russia [JURIST news archive]. Itar-Tass has local coverage.

  • The European Union [official website] has announced its intent to impose sanctions against individuals named as official suspects in the Hariri assassination [JURIST news archive] investigation. The sanctions will apply to individuals that were "linked to planning, financing, organizing or carrying out the bomb attack." The EU announced that the names released by the UN will be immediately added to the list of sanctioned individuals. Champress has local coverage.

  • Kenyan Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Martha Karua has blamed continued problems with human rights respect in Kenya on several outdated provisions in the Kenyan constitution [PDF text]. Karua said that despite the government's desire to promote human rights standards, certain provisions in the constitution hinder the ability of the Justice Ministry [official website] to respond to human rights violations. The Kenyan National Commission on Human Rights [official website] and the Kenya Law Reforms Commission have been tasked with identifying those areas and suggesting changes that would promote domestic human rights standards. Karua also lamented the lack of public knowledge of human rights provided for in the constitution. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Kenya [JURIST news archive]. Kenya's East African Standard has local coverage.

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