[JURIST] Sudanese authorities on Wednesday detained prominent political opposition figure and Islamist leader Hassan al-Turabi [BBC profile] in response to al-Turabi's calls for President Omar al-Bashir [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] to turn himself over to the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website]. Turabi, the leader of the Popular Congress Party (PCP), was expecting to be detained [Sudan Tribune report] after telling reporters Monday that Bashir is responsible for war crimes in Darfur [JURIST archive]. Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] has condemned [press release] Turabi's detention, calling it "arbitrary."
ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo [offical profile] applied for an arrest warrant for Bashir [JURIST report] in July, charging him with genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. The warrant was condemned [JURIST report] by the Arab League [official website, in Arabic] and criticized [JURIST report] by South African President Thabo Mbeki [official profile]. In December, ICC judges gave Moreno-Ocampo until January 26 to provide supplemental information about a September 2007 attack [BBC report] on an African Union [official website] base in Haskanita. The events at the ICC were preceded by a Security Council statement in June urging Sudan to work with the ICC [JURIST report] to "put an end to impunity for the crimes committed in Darfur." Sudan is not a party to the ICC, but must cooperate to fulfill its obligations under Council Resolution 1593 [text], which established jurisdiction over the Darfur situation. Hundreds of thousands of people have allegedly been killed in Darfur by Sudanese military and janjaweed [Slate backgrounder] militia forces.