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Sudan

    March 21, 2017

    By Ahmed Elzobier, Sudan Researcher at Amnesty International

    Three Sudanese human rights defenders were released from jail on 6 March after paying a fine of 50,000 Sudanese Pounds (about 7,700 US dollars) each.

    Khalafalla Al-Afif Mukhtar, Midhat A. Hamdan and Mustafa Adam had been sentenced to one year in jail and a fine, but were released after nine months on time served after paying the exorbitant fines.  The crimes they were found guilty of? Two of them were convicted of dissemination of false information and one for espionage.

    All three are members of TRACKS, a human rights organization that provides training on a range of themes including human rights and information technology to civil society in Sudan.

    Over the last two years, TRACKS’ offices have been raided twice, on 26 March 2015 and 29 February 2016. On 22 May 2016, NISS officials detained several of its staff and members and charged them with a number of offences including crimes against the state.

    October 13, 2016

    Amnesty International is building a network of digital volunteers to help uncover human rights violations and abuses in the conflict-ravaged Sudanese region of Darfur as part of a revolutionary crowdsourcing project launched today. Within hours, some 4500 digital volunteers were already on the job spending a combined 525 hours analysing already over 33,000 square kilometres of satellite imagery

    The Decode Darfur interactive platform will enable Amnesty International supporters to analyse thousands of square kilometres of satellite imagery in remote parts of Darfur where bombings and chemical weapons attacks are suspected to have taken place – just by using their phone, tablet or laptop.

    “This is an ambitious, revolutionary project that marks a fundamental shift in the way we view human rights research – and gives anyone with internet access the chance to help expose some of the world’s gravest injustices,” said Milena Marin, Amnesty International’s Senior Innovations Campaigner.

    June 24, 2015

    By Netsanet Belay, Africa Director, Research and Advocacy at Amnesty International. Follow Netsanet on Twitter @NetsanetDBelay

    As the International Criminal Court (ICC) opens its Assembly of States Parties – the periodic gathering of all the countries who have ratified the Court’s statute – in The Hague today, it does so with a bloody nose.

    The Court was yet again met with contempt this month by South Africa’s failure to cooperate with its arrest warrants for one of its longest running fugitives, President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan.

    On 15 June, South Africa’s government failed to obey an order from its own high court to prevent al-Bashir from leaving the country. The order had been made while the court decided whether to compel the government to fulfil its international and constitutional obligations to uphold two ICC warrants for the arrest of Sudanese President al-Bashir. The Sudanese leader, who was visiting Johannesburg for an African Union Summit, faces seven counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, as well as three counts of genocide in Darfur.

    December 03, 2014

    Magdy el-Baghdady, a 30-year-old man from London, had a grand plan.

    In early 2011 he travelled to Sudan to open a small restaurant to help support his ailing father. He knew a few well-connected people in Khartoum with whom he had gone to school in north London. It all made sense at the time.

    But then, it went horribly wrong.

    Two weeks after his plane landed, he was languishing in a prison cell, bearing the marks and scars of torture.

    Despite his ordeal Magdy is lucky. He is now safely back in the UK, fighting a legal battle against the Sudanese state.

    He is arguing that Sudan violated the prohibition of torture under the African Charter and is using the Convention against Torture – adopted three decades ago this year – to do it.

    Madgy’s story illustrates why the Convention against Torture is crucial in the fight for justice for thousands like him. The document provides a clear definition of what torture is and sets out the obligations that state parties have to end it.

    July 14, 2014
    By Alex Neve, Secretary General, Amnesty International Canada

    So many moments stay with me. During the course of this recent mission in South Sudan people recounted unimaginable suffering and acute fear; they showed tremendous strength and unflagging resilience; and they shared both deep despair and determined hope.

    Many of the moments were unexpected.

    We spent a morning at an Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) site on the grounds of a private school in Juba, where close to 5,000 people are sheltered. More than one million people have been internally displaced in South Sudan over the course of the past seven months as violence and massive human rights violations swept through the capital Juba and Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile states. There was considerable displacement within Juba itself. Approximately 30,000 IDPs are living in sites on two UN peacekeeping bases there. The others have had to find places to live throughout the city.

    July 09, 2014
    On the third anniversary of South Sudanese independence, the country is in the midst of a humanitarian crisis. Will Canada step up and help?

     

    By Alex Neve, Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada. Originally published in the Toronto Star.

    JUBA, SOUTH SUDAN —

    “There is nothing to celebrate; because you are not independent if you are not free” — that was the understandable response when I asked Peter Koang recently what he felt about upcoming third anniversary, on July 9, of the independence of South Sudan, the world’s newest nation. Peter has been living in an overcrowded site for internally displaced persons on a corner of UN peacekeeping base in Juba, South Sudan for seven months.

    July 07, 2014
    An elder in South Sudan

    by Alex Neve
    Secretary General, Amnesty International Canada
     

    Greeting to Amnesty International supporters, from Juba, South Sudan.

    As our human rights mission gets underway, I thought I’d share an uplifting "Amnesty moment" amidst two long, hot days of interviews in IDP (Internally Displaced People) camps here in Juba; with more to come. 

    These IDP camps are actually within United Nations peacekeeping bases.  The two in Juba hold around 30,000 people.  Nationwide, UN soldiers are sheltering about 100,000 people.  It was an unprecedented decision back in December when people were fleeing widespread massacres. Whereas UN bases have usually been a no-go zone for people fleeing atrocities, this time the UN Mission here made an unparalleled decision to open the gates.  It saved thousands of lives at the time, no doubt.

    July 07, 2014

    Alex Neve, Secretary General, Amnesty International Canada
    - in Juba, South Sudan
     

    “Stop publishing articles on federalism”

    That is the warning media outlets in South Sudan received in late June, through phone calls and visits from government security officers. 

    The National Security Service had decided that it was a threat to “national security” to discuss federalism – an approach to governance embraced by states around the world and already a feature of the interim South Sudanese Constitution. There was no written decree to back up their ominous warning. 

    June 27, 2014
    Meriam with her baby and family
    BREAKING NEWS 24 July 2014: Meriam Yehya Ibrahim and her family left Sudan and arrived in Italy earlier this morning. Amnesty International continues to press the government of Sudan to change the laws so that no one ever has to endure this kind of ordeal again.
    Under the weight of massive, truly impressive worldwide pressure, Sudan overturned Meriam Yehya Ibrahim's death sentence and released her from prison.

    Over 1,000,000 Amnesty International supporters and members in Canada and worldwide spoke up for Meriam! 

    After being sentenced to 100 lashes and death by hanging, after over four months in prison with her 20-month-old son Martin, and after giving birth to daughter Maya on a floor in shackles, Meriam was released from prison and re-united with her husband Daniel.

    November 28, 2013
    Displaced Nuba women gather around a waterpoint at dawn in the Yida refugee camp approximately 30 km south of the disputed border between north and south Sudan.

    By Alex Neve, Secretary General, Amnesty International Canada

    Earlier this fall the Canadian government significantly down-scaled the diplomatic and financial resources devoted to helping make a difference in Sudan when the high-level Sudan Task Force was disbanded. The decision conveyed a disappointing message that Canada is less concerned about Sudan, at a time when the situation there is the most volatile it has been in years.

    It was an unfortunate decision. There is an urgent need for a renewed global effort to address Sudan’s multiple human rights tragedies. Canada must get back in that game.It is hard to think of another country faced with so many full-blown human rights catastrophes.

    November 19, 2013

    By Alex Neve, Secretary General, Amnesty International Canada, in N’Djamena, Chad
     

    Tension is building fast along the Chad/Sudan border. The signs of a worsening human rights situation in Sudan’s neighbouring Darfur region have been growing for months, including while we have been travelling in areas close to the border during this mission. Fighting and human rights violations are always more prevalent during the dry season. And the end of the rainy season this year has certainly brought a sharp increase in violence.

    Fighting is raging between various ethnic groups on the Darfur side of the border, particularly between two Arab tribes, the Salamat and Misseriya, who have been allies in the past. More villages are being attacked and left in ruins. That means more people killed and injured. It also means more women and girls being raped, though it is as of yet impossible to get a clear read on how widespread that has become. Homes and businesses are being set on fire and destroyed.  Looting and theft, of livestock and personal property, is pervasive.