Sudan President Omar al-Bashir’s China Visit Delayed

Omar al-Bashir, the President of Sudan who is wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity, was scheduled to visit Beijing and meet with President Hu Jintao today, until his plane turned around en route with no official explanation. From BBC:

The plane returned to Iran, where Mr Bashir had attended an anti-terrorism conference.

[…] “The presidential plane was flying over Turkmenistan on Sunday, when they chose a new route,” the foreign ministry said in a statement carried by Sudan’s official Suna news agency.

He is now expected to arrive in China on Tuesday and is to meet Mr Hu on Wednesday.

Amnesty International said if China did not arrest Mr Bashir, the country would become a “safe haven for alleged perpetrators of genocide”.

The Chinese government has defended the decision to host Mr. Bashir:

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said his government had every right to invite Mr Bashir, as it is not a signatory to the ICC treaty.

“China has reserved its opinion towards the International Criminal Court lawsuit against President Omar al-Bashir,” he said.

June 27, 2011 1:20 PM
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