Fundamental freedoms being violated in Sudan - CIVICUS Statement at the Human Rights Council

33rd session of the Human Rights Council

CIVICUS welcomes the report of the Independent Expert and recognizes the Council’s continued vigilance in addressing the human rights situation in Sudan.  

The report presented today clearly articulates that the Government has failed to take adequate and swift measures to realize its human rights obligations under international law.

Indicative of the Government’s unwillingness to seriously address persistent human violations is its resistance to launching an independent judicial investigation into the killings, excessive use of force and arbitrary arrests of scores of peaceful protestors in September 2013 in response to oil-subsidies imposed by the State. The codification of impunity for the National Intelligence and Security Services under the 2010 National Security act presents a nearly insurmountable barrier to ensuring accountability for the gross human rights violations committed by security forces in response to the exercise of the right to freedom of assembly.

The Government of Sudan has further continued to arrest, detain and persecute human rights defenders, including lawyers, doctors, members of civil society organizations, and representatives of youth and political movements, en masse. The unabated judicial harassment of peaceful human rights defenders and the criminalization of dissent through the routine invocation of laws which abrogate constitutional and international safeguards has created a dangerous climate for human rights work in Sudan.

We remain deeply concerned that these and other violations of fundamental public freedoms severely undermines the stalled national dialogue among the Government, political opposition and civil society and prevents necessary steps to address deep rooted socio-political grievances. 
We therefore call for the renewal of the Mandate and underscore the Independent Expert’s appeal to the international community “to continue its efforts to establish a lasting partnership with human rights actors in the Sudan” and his recommendation to the Government of Sudan to ensure that all civil society actors “are not intimidated, arrested and detained, ill-treated or tortured by State security agents as a result of their work, opinions or peaceful assembly.”