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Sudan president vows to ignore ICC arrest warrant

[JURIST] Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] Wednesday threatened to ignore any arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court [official website; JURIST news archive]. Bashir, speaking to legislators Wednesday in semi-autonomous southern Sudan, said he would not "deal with or respond to" the ICC, according to AFP. Bashir's speech rallied support against the ICC and predicted that ICC charges against him would harm the country's oil-based economy. AFP has more.

In July, ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo [official profile] applied for a warrant to arrest Bashir [JURIST report] on charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes for atrocities committed in the country's Darfur region [JURIST news archive]. Moreno-Ocampo this month criticized Sudan's own investigation [JURIST report] of war crimes in Darfur, calling it "part of the cover-up." Sudan's justice minister recently appointed several prosecutors to investigate and try war crimes suspects in internationally monitored courts [JURIST reports].

In another development in Sudan [JURIST news archive] Wednesday, security forces reportedly seized copies [AFP report] of the English-language Sudan Tribune [media website] for the 17th time this month. The editor of the Tribune said Thursday that government censors this week warned the newspaper it would be closed by Sept. 1 if it fails to replace its editorial board, among other conditions. In a report on its website Thursday, the newspaper said the government had barred publication of an article quoting Sudan's foreign minister as criticizing security forces for the deaths of 30 people during the raid of a Darfur refugee camp. According to the Tribune report, newspaper censorship has increased since the ICC indicted Bashir.

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