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International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect
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Human Rights Watch (Washington, DC)
Press Release
April 27, 2007

Dear Prime Minister Harper:

It is more imperative than ever that Canada and other members of the international community take the measures necessary to protect the people of Darfur in Sudan. Today, almost four million Darfurians remain reliant on international humanitarian aid to survive including two and half million forcibly displaced civilians and other victims of war crimes and crimes against humanity. All remain at risk due to renewed Sudanese military offensives targeting civilians, the increasing fragmentation of the rebel groups which to a lesser extent are also responsible for human rights abuses and the almost complete lack of security in the region.

() Human Rights Watch appreciates the support Canada has provided to the ICC's efforts to investigate the most serious crimes in Darfur. As part of Canada's support for ending impunity in Darfur, we ask the Canadian government to:

Urge the Government of Sudan to cooperate fully with all ICC requests for assistance with its investigations including by providing access to all documents requested and interviews with all persons as requested. The Government of Sudan should also be urged to comply promptly with any summons or warrants of arrest that may be issued by the court.

Use Canada's influence with the African Union and other countries to encourage prompt and effective assistance in investigating and prosecuting crimes. Canada should call on the African Union to conclude the draft Memorandum of Understanding with the ICC which will provide a framework for future cooperation.

Provide strong public support for speedy and effective trials of those individuals who bear the greatest responsibility for the crimes committed in Darfur.

Provide support for public information initiatives to help Sudanese people understand the ICC process when it moves to publicly issues summons and/or takes other action on Darfur.
Provide increased financial support to the International Criminal Court's Victim Trust Fund.
We urge you to act firmly on behalf of all Darfurians who are now at greater risk of violence than they have been since they were driven from their homes three years ago and who are in dire need of international protection. The actions we are asking you to take will serve as an important signal to the international community that Canada is fully prepared to act decisively on its responsibility to protect. It's time for Canada to set an example in this regard that other states can follow.


Nur Muhammed-Ally, Co-Chair
Teja Rachamalla, Co-Chair

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