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Sudan

    March 11, 2014

    The Sudanese security forces must immediately stop the use of excessive and unlawful force against protesters, Amnesty International said today, after a student died of gunshot wounds sustained during a demonstration at the University of Khartoum.

    Ali Abaker Mussa Idris, a third-year economics student, died in hospital after security forces used tear gas and opened fire with live ammunition to disperse a protest he was taking part in at the university this afternoon. Another student has been severely injured, and a further 110 students were reportedly arrested at the protest, which was against a recent surge in violence in Darfur that has left an estimated 50,000 people displaced.

    “Credible accounts by eyewitnesses at the University of Khartoum protest point to police and Sudanese intelligence (NISS) officers using tear gas and live ammunition to disperse the protesters. The authorities must rein in the security forces and prevent them from using such excessive force in violation of international law and standards,” said Netsanet Belay, Africa Director of Research and Advocacy at Amnesty International.

    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 21, 2013

     

    ‘(1) Whoever commits, in a public space, an act, or conducts himself in an indecent manner, or a manner contrary to public morality, or wears an indecent or immoral dress, which causes annoyance to public feelings, shall be punished, with whipping, not exceeding forty lashes, or with a fine, or with both (2) The act shall be contrary to public morals if it is regarded as such according to the standard of the person's religion or the custom of the country where the act takes place.’
    Article 152 of the 1991 Criminal Code of Sudan

    A woman in Sudan can be stopped by the police, sent before a judge, and sentenced to a public flogging of forty lashes for wearing pants or leaving her hair uncovered.

    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.

    November 12, 2013

    The Sudanese authorities must drop ‘indecent behaviour’ charges against two activists who risk being sentenced to flogging in a trial that opens tomorrow, Amnesty International said today.

    The organization is calling for the charges to be immediately and unconditionally dropped.

    “Yet again the Sudanese authorities are exploiting their legal system to harass and intimidate activists,” said Sarah Jackson, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director. 

    “The public order laws being used in this case do not specify what is meant by ‘indecent behaviour’ so the security forces are using their discretion to arrest and punish whoever they want to.”

    On 21 October Najlaa Mohammed Ali , a lawyer and a human rights activist, and Amin Senada, an activist, were travelling by car to Port Sudan, when two armed men stopped the car, claiming to be from Sudan’s Public Order Police.

    October 02, 2013

    Reports that Sudan’s security forces have arrested at least 800 activists, members of opposition parties, journalists, and others amid ongoing anti-government protests mark a shocking escalation of the crackdown on dissent, Amnesty International said.

    A wave of arrests took place between the night of Monday 30 September and the early hours of Tuesday 1 October. Amnesty International is still receiving reports of arrests at the time of writing.

    “Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Service is notorious for its repressive tactics in rounding up and placing perceived dissidents behind bars – but even by their standards, this latest round-up marks a significant escalation in arrests,” said Lucy Freeman, Africa Deputy Director at Amnesty International.  

    September 26, 2013

    Joint News Release from Amnesty International and the African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies

    “Shooting to kill – including by aiming at protesters’ chests and heads – is a blatant violation of the right to life, and Sudan must immediately end this violent repression by its security forces.”
    Lucy Freeman, Africa Deputy Director at Amnesty International

    “The Sudanese government must immediately establish an investigation into the use of disproportionate force and allegations of the intentional killing of protestors and use of live ammunition by security forces.”
    Osman Hummaida, Executive Director of the African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies
     

    The Sudanese security forces must immediately stop using arbitrary and unlawful force against protesters, the African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies and Amnesty International urged today, after confirming that at least 50 demonstrators were killed on Tuesday and Wednesday after being shot in the chest or head.

    September 20, 2013

    Member states of the United Nations General Assembly must demand that Sudan’s President Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir surrender to the International Criminal Court (ICC), where he faces charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, said Amnesty International.

    President al-Bashir has reportedly applied to the United States Embassy in Sudan for a visa to enable him to travel to the 68th session of the UN General Assembly in New York before its general debate opens on 24 September.

    The ICC has issued two arrest warrants against President al-Bashir accusing him of responsibility for war crimes, crimes against humanity and acts of genocide committed by Sudanese forces and their allied Janjaweed militia in Darfur, Sudan.

    “Despite the ICC arrest warrants against the President, two other government officials and an alleged Janjaweed militia leader, they are all being protected by the Sudanese government which is refusing to cooperate with the Court,” said Tawanda Hondora, Deputy Director of Law and Policy at Amnesty International.

    June 11, 2013

    New satellite imagery and eyewitness testimonies from rebel-held areas in Sudan’s Blue Nile State show that Sudanese military forces have resorted to brutal scorched earth tactics to drive out the civilian population, Amnesty International said in a report published today.

    “We had no time to bury them”: War crimes in Sudan’s Blue Nile State documents how bombings and ground attacks by Sudanese military forces have destroyed entire villages, left many dead and injured, and forced tens of thousands to flee — with many now facing starvation, disease and exhaustion.

    Evidence gathered by Amnesty International indicates that villages in the Ingessana Hills, an area held for a time by the Sudan People’s Liberation Army – North (SPLA-N) — endured multiple scorched earth offensives in 2012. Witnesses also described bombing attacks as recent as April 2013 that killed children and other civilians.

    Satellite imagery of the Ingessana Hills, showing the destruction of several villages:

    May 10, 2013

    The detention of a female lawyer in Sudan, whose whereabouts are still unknown, is the latest in the authorities’ brutal campaign against human rights activists in the context of the conflict in the Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states, Amnesty International said.

    Asma Ahmed, a lawyer and member of the banned opposition party the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), was arrested on 4 May when she reported to the office of the Sudanese National Security Services (NSS) in Khartoum.

    Two days earlier, NSS officers had gone to her house demanding that she report to them.

    Asma Ahmed has been held incommunicado since her arrest, without charge, placing her at high risk of torture or other forms of ill-treatment. She is diabetic and requires medical care and a special diet.

    “The arrest of Asma Ahmed is yet another example of the Sudanese authorities’ determination to stifle freedom of association and the work of human rights activists in the country,” said said Lucy Freeman, Africa Deputy Director at Amnesty International.

    April 16, 2013

    Posted at 0001hrs (GMT) 17 April 2013

    The UN Security Council and African Union (AU) must take immediate action to halt indiscriminate attacks in Southern Kordofan, Amnesty International said in a new report that highlights the urgent need for humanitarian access to the conflict-affected areas.  

    Indiscriminate bombings, lack of humanitarian assistance and massive displacement which has severely disrupted agricultural production, have all conspired to place civilians in the areas controlled by the Sudan Peoples Liberation Army-North (SPLA-N) in Southern Kordofan, in an extremely precarious situation.

    This will only get worse in the next few months as food supplies are dwindling and the impending rainy season makes roads impassable.

    “The international community continues to watch this catastrophe unfold as the humanitarian situation worsens in conflict-affected areas of Southern Kordofan. It’s time for some concerted action,” said Khairunissa Dhala, Amnesty International’s South Sudan researcher.

    April 03, 2013

    Egypt and Sudan must make urgent and concerted efforts to stop asylum-seekers and refugees being kidnapped from camps in Sudan, forcibly transported to Egypt, and being severely abused in the Sinai desert, Amnesty International said in a new briefing.

    For over two years, refugees and asylum-seekers have been kidnapped from in and around the Shagarab refugee camps in eastern Sudan, near the Eritrean border. The vast majority of victims are Eritrean. They are then trafficked to Egypt’s Sinai desert, where they are held captive by Bedouin criminal gangs while ransom payments are demanded from their families.

    Amnesty International has received repeated reports of brutal violence used against captives in Sinai, including rape and sexual abuse, beatings, burning and other violent and cruel treatment.

    The captors reportedly telephone their victims’ relatives while inflicting violence in order to extort money, often demanding ransoms of up to USD 30-40,000.

    April 02, 2013

    Sudan’s prisoner amnesty announced yesterday does not go far enough, according to Amnesty International.

    “This prisoner amnesty barely scratches the surface,” said Netsanet Belay, Amnesty International’s Africa Program Director. 

    “Only seven political prisoners have been released. Meanwhile, dozens of people remain in arbitrary detention, some of them prisoners of conscience.”

    Seven political prisoners were released overnight.  Six were prominent members of political parties, namely Abdulaziz Khaled, Entisar al-Agali, Hisham al-Mufti, Abdulrahim Abdallah, Mohammed Zain Alabidein and Youssef al-Kauda.  Hatim Ali, a youth activist, was also released.  Amnesty International had been calling for his immediate and unconditional release.

    Over 118 people are reportedly in arbitrary detention in the context of the Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan conflicts, including women detained without charges with their infant children.

    In addition, a number of individuals remain on the death row for their involvement in armed opposition. None of their sentences were commuted.

    March 28, 2013

    Elements of government forces, along with armed militias, are carrying out multiple large-scale attacks against civilians in North Darfur in what represents the worst instance of violence in recent years, Amnesty International says in a briefing today.

    Border Guards, who are under the authority of the Sudanese Military Intelligence, have been involved in attacks that have reportedly killed more than 500 people so far this year.

    According to the UN, roughly 100,000 people have been displaced since violence broke out on 5 January when an officer of the Border Guards and leader of the Rizeigat tribe both laid claim to a gold-rich piece of land in Jebel ‘Amer.

    Amnesty International is calling upon the Sudanese government to ensure a prompt, impartial and effective investigation into these allegations.

    “Any member of the Border Guards who is reasonably suspected of involvement in committing such attacks must be immediately suspended from their posts,” says Netsanet Belay, Amnesty International’s Africa Director.

    March 15, 2013

    The government of Chad must arrest and surrender the President of Sudan, President Omar al-Bashir to the International Criminal Court (ICC) when he visits Chad on Monday, says Amnesty International.

    If the Chadian government fails to arrest President al-Bashir, the UN Security Council needs to step in and insist that Chad complies with its international legal obligations.

    The trip by Sudan’s President al-Bashir will coincide with the 10th anniversary of the start of the Darfur conflict.

    As a party to the Rome State of the International Criminal Court, Chad has a legal obligation to cooperate fully with the arrest of all ICC suspects and to ensure their surrender to the ICC.

    “If he is not apprehended, President al-Bashir’s planned fourth visit to Chad will be a further slap in the face to all victims of serious human rights violations in Darfur,” said Amnesty International’s Africa Programme Director, Netsanet Belay. 

    “Such regular and open invitations to a fugitive from international justice should not be ignored any further.”

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