GENOCIDAL SUDANESE GOVERNMENT HIRES LOBBYIST
(House of Representatives - December 13, 2011)

Text available as:

Formatting necessary for an accurate reading of this text may be shown by tags (e.g., <DELETED> or <BOLD>) or may be missing from this TXT display. For complete and accurate display of this text, see the PDF.

        

[Page H8735]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




              GENOCIDAL SUDANESE GOVERNMENT HIRES LOBBYIST

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from 
Virginia (Mr. Wolf) for 5 minutes.
  Mr. WOLF. Mr. Speaker, I was appalled and outraged to learn yesterday 
that the genocidal government of Khartoum has hired a lobbyist to 
represent its interests here in Washington.
  On December 10, a publication called ``Africa Intelligence'' reported 
that the Sudanese Government has put a lobbyist on retainer with the 
express purpose of trying ``to lift American sanctions against it.''
  The article further reported that the law office of Bart S. Fisher 
would be paid $20,000 a month plus expenses to represent this genocidal 
government, a government which literally has blood on its hands.
  I don't know how Mr. Fisher sleeps at night. Considering the follow: 
Sudan's president, Omar Hassan Bashir, is an internationally indicted 
war criminal. Bashir is accused by the International Criminal Court of 
five counts of crimes against humanity--including murder, rape, 
torture, and extermination--and two counts of war crimes.
  But Khartoum's crimes are not simply a thing of the past. In a recent 
hearing before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, a witness with 
the NGO Human Rights Watch testified about the situation on the ground 
in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states in Sudan, saying: ``According 
to witnesses we interviewed and other sources, government forces 
shelled civilian areas, shot people in the streets and carried out 
house-to-house searches and arrests based on lists of names of known 
Sudan People's Liberation Movement supporters in the first weeks of 
fighting.''
  My office has received regular, reliable reports from individuals on 
the ground echoing these claims. We have learned of ongoing aerial 
bombardments in Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan states. We have heard 
of nightmarish accounts of extrajudicial killings, illegal detention, 
disappearances, and indiscriminate attacks against civilians. 
Furthermore, evidence gathered through satellite imagery by the 
Satellite Sentinel Project shows at least eight mass graves found in 
and around Kadugli, the capital of Southern Kordofan.
  Literally thousands have fled the violence, which begs the question, 
Who is their lobbyist? They are in desperate straits having left behind 
their entire lives. Who is their lobbyist? They are facing malnutrition 
and prolonged displacement. Who is their lobbyist?
  To put a human face on these questions, consider this picture taken 
by a Voice of America photographer of a malnourished child with a 
feeding tube inserted in his nose in an attempt to get him the 
sustenance he so desperately needs. He is one of roughly 25,000 people 
in the Yida refugee camp that have fled the fighting in Sudan and 
crossed the border in South Sudan.
  I ask Mr. Fisher, the lobbyist: Where is the child's lobbyist, the 
lobbyist for this child?
  Today I am sending a letter to President Obama, the State Department, 
the Justice Department, and the Treasury Department seeking immediate 
clarification on what appears to be an indefensible situation.
  According to news report and the Foreign Agents Registration page of 
the Department of Justice Web site, Mr. Bart Fisher is representing the 
Government of Sudan. Was he granted a license from the Office of 
Foreign Assets Control at Treasury, as is required to represent the 
genocidal country of Sudan given the U.S. sanctions which are in place 
against it? If not, is his representation a violation of law? If so, 
why would the Obama administration allow this to move forward?
  There are many questions which demand answers. But one thing is 
clear: it appears that Mr. Fisher's contract with the Government of 
Sudan went into effect in November. If he has received one penny from 
the Government of Sudan, he should return it immediately; or better 
yet, he should donate it to one of the NGOs seeking to serve the 
suffering Sudanese people in Yida refugee camp who have been brutalized 
by their own government, i.e., Mr. Fisher's client.

             [From the Africa Intelligence, Dec. 10, 2011]

                   Khartoum Hires a Lobbyist in U.S.

       The Sudanese government has just taken on a lobbyist in 
     Washington, United States to try to lift American sanctions 
     against it. The Law Office of Bart S. Fisher summarised the 
     contract in a letter to the Sudanese embassy in Washington 
     dated November 1, stating that its work would be carried out 
     within the limits of the Sudanese Sanctions Regulations, for 
     a fee of $20,000 a month plus expenses. Bart Fisher is a 
     longstanding lobbyist for China and for Chinese companies, 
     combining the legal defence of its clients and lobby 
     activity. In the case of Sudan, he will advise Khartoum on 
     how to obtain the reduction or cessation of U.S. sanctions 
     and the removal of the country from the State Department list 
     of State Sponsors of Terror. It will also aid the Sudanese 
     Embassy in Washington in the requisite legal procedures. 
     Fisher will have work to do, since the contract was signed on 
     10 November just as military tension is growing on the border 
     with Southern Sudan and a coalition of 66 organisations in 
     the United States, Act for Sudan, recently asked President 
     Barack Obama to impose a no fly zone over Darfur, South 
     Kordofan and Blue Nile, to prevent Khartoum from attacking 
     the civilian population.

                          ____________________