Read George Clooney and Don Cheadle's Letter Asking Obama To Block an Alleged War Criminal's US Visit
Actors George Clooney and Don Cheadle (co-founders of Not On Our Watch), actress/UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow, and a bunch of non-movie-star activists have signed a letter urging President Obama to shoot down the visa request of Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on charges of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity related to the conflict in Darfur.
Bashir is planning on attending the United Nations General Assembly's fall session next week, and is required to submit a request for a visa to enter the United States. The Obama administration hasn't announced how it will handle the request. "We would say that before presenting himself to UN headquarters, President Bashir should present himself to the ICC in The Hague to answer for the crimes of which he's been accused," Marie Harf, State Department spokeswoman, told reporters. ICC judges have asked US officials to arrest Bashir if he makes the trip to New York City. (The US, however, is not a member of the ICC, and is thus not legally bound to cooperate with the court.)
Clooney, Cheadle, and Farrow are among Hollywood's more active anti-genocide campaigners. Clooney, in partnership with human rights activist John Prendergast's Enough Project, organized the Satellite Sentinel Project, a network of spy satellites that actually helped the ICC investigate possible war crimes in southern Sudan. "We are the anti-genocide paparazzi," Clooney told Time. Cheadle has co-authored two books with Prendergast. And Farrow is a "Twitter Nazi hunter" in her spare time.
h/t Hayes Brown