Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Shining light on Bashir's crimes in an unconventional way

By Julia Boccagno

Engaging in a creative protest to shine a light on the actions of the government of Chad, members of the Darfuri diaspora and activists with the BashirWatch project gathered at the Embassy of Chad with a giant video projection that was played on the Embassy walls.


Watch the video here: https://https://vimeo.com/64260662

The action was designed to place pressure on the Chadian government to prohibit Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir from entering the country for the fourth time since the International Criminal Court charged him with committing war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

As a member party of the International Criminal Court, Chad has a legal obligation to cooperate and arrest President Omar al-Bashir—the man responsible for systematically murdering over 300,000 innocent civilians in Darfur.

The projection put “in plain sight” massive images and video stories of Sudanese survivors onto the Embassy of Chad. Supporters across the world joined our efforts by sending in tweets, which were also projected onto the building.

Many Sudanese citizens attended the protest and were not only excited to call out the Chadian government, but to do so in an unconventional and innovative way. A Sudanese activist exclaimed, “I have been to many demonstrations in front of the Sudanese Embassy with regard to arresting al-Bashir and his indictment from the ICC, but this is quite special and creative because, this time, it’s shifted not to the Sudanese embassy, but to the Chadian Embassy. And that is because Chad plays a very crucial role in protecting al-Bashir and inviting him to their land.”

Others were equally as enthusiastic to redefine traditional protesting methods through new technology. Jimmy Mulla, President of Voices of Sudan, noted, “Once we try to bring in technology in terms of expressing our concerns, I think that reaches a much larger audience.”

Under duress, Chad postponed the event that Bashir was invited to attend for a second time. And until Bashir is arrested, we’ll continue to keep him under close watch.


A coalition of five human rights organizations, including United to End Genocide, work together as BashirWatch to support the ICC’s warrant for Bashir, bring him into custody, and transfer him to the International Criminal Court for trial. Join our global rapid response network to protest governments who allow Bashir to visit: bashirwatch.org

The writer can be reached at jboccagno@endgenocide.org