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Open letter concerning the crackdown on peaceful protests in Sudan

MagkaSama Team - February 16, 2018
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Protests in Omdurman, Sudan, September 2013

Photo: Girifna Media

In September 2017, we signed the letter by The African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS) with other NGOs calling for strong, action-oriented resolution on Sudan at UN Human Rights Council. Read our post here.

Once again, Sudanese security forces have arrested scores of people in connection with protests against austerity measures we wrote about last week (Sudan: Economic collapse accelerating and inflation rate at 128%…). In addition to the crackdown on protests, authorities have detained hundreds of protesters ; you can read our post from last month here.

In the latest report published yesterday by Amnesty International, the organization writes:

At least 140 opposition party members, human rights defenders, students and women rights activists were arrested and detained by the Sudanese National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) between 6 January and 10 February. This is in connection with sporadic protests around Sudan over the rise in the cost of food and medicines. Their whereabouts are unknown.

Women human rights defenders Amel Habani , a journalist and a recipient of the 2015 Amnesty International Ginetta Sagan Award, Nahid Jabrallah , the director of Sima Centre for Training and Protection of Women and Children’s Rights, Egbal Mohamed Ali, and Hanan Hassan Hussein, members of the Sudanese Congress Party (SCP) and Sarah Nugdallah , the secretary general of the National Umma Party, were arbitrarily arrested and detained between 16 and 17 January.

Read full report (PDF) here.

The ACJPS published on their website the open letter concerning the crackdown on peaceful protests and the wave of arbitrary arrests and continued incommunicado detentions by Sudanese government forces :

We, the undersigned Sudanese, African and international organisations, write to you in your capacities as Special Procedure mandate holders to draw your attention to the worrying developments concerning the excessive use of force by Sudanese authorities to disperse peaceful protests across Sudan. We urge you to call on the Government of Sudan to respect the peoples’ rights to freedom of assembly, association and expression as guaranteed in international standards and UN treaties ratified by Sudan and refrain from using excessive force to disperse protests.

From 6 January to 6 February, the security forces have arrested and detained scores of Sudanese citizens including opposition political party leaders, human rights defenders/activists, journalists, student activists and others for prolonged periods without charge or trial. We are concerned about the prolonged detention, in most cases incommunicado, of individuals under NISS custody feared to have been abused or at risk of abuse as well as those of advanced age with serious health conditions. The lack of access to lawyers and family members for the detainees, together with the well-documented use by the NISS of torture and other forms of ill-treatment against detainees, particularly whilst held in unknown locations, gives rise to serious concerns for their safety.

We, the undersigned African and international organisations, condemn the unlawful killings, arbitrary and continued incommunicado detentions, torture and other forms of ill-treatment, excessive use of force and post-print censorship by government forces. We urge you to reiterate to the Government of Sudan that all Sudanese have the right to freedom of expression, association, and assembly including freedom of the media.

Please read the full letter on this page, share it and spread the word about it.

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