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Sudan

    May 10, 2019

    The Sudanese people have been protesting since December 2018 when they took to the streets to express their anger over rising costs of living and the decline of political freedom. Their pressure worked and on 11 April, Sudan’s military overthrew the National Congress Party (NCP) government, arresting President Omar al-Bashir and other senior party leaders.

    But while al-Bashir’s 30-year rule has come to an end, the human rights situation in Sudan, which has deteriorated dramatically since the beginning of the protests, continues to worsen. Many of the protestors calling for peace, justice, rule of law and economic reforms have paid the price of change with their lives and liberty.

    April 17, 2019

    Omar al-Bashir may have been deposed as President of Sudan after three decades of deeply repressive rule, but he has still not faced justice for the litany of grave human rights violations and crimes under international law he allegedly committed while in power.

    ICC arrest warrant

    Al-Bashir is one of the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) longest-running fugitives. The Court has issued two arrest warrants for the former Sudanese leader - the first on 4 March 2009 and the second on 12 July 2010. He stands accused of criminal responsibility for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide following the killing, maiming, and torture of hundreds of thousands of people in the Sudanese region of Darfur.

    April 11, 2019

    Responding to the ousting of Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir in a military coup following months of street protests, Amnesty International’s Secretary General Kumi Naidoo said:

    “On this historic day for Sudan, the world must first and foremost recognize the unique courage, creativity and bravery Sudanese people have shown in demanding their rights. Today’s events should also serve as a wake-up call to leaders around the world who think they can get away with denying people their basic rights.

    “But while many Sudanese people will be delighted by the end of Omar al-Bashir’s deeply repressive 30-year rule, we are alarmed by the raft of emergency measures announced today.

    “Sudan’s military authorities should ensure that emergency laws are not used to undermine people’s rights. Instead, they must now consign to history the assault on human rights that marked al-Bashir’s 30 years in power.

    April 09, 2019

    Nine people have been reportedly killed in Sudan since protesters began a sit-in at the military’s headquarters in Khartoum on 6 April, with police and security forces using excessive force to try and disperse protesters calling for President Omar al-Bashir to step down, Amnesty International has learned.

    “The Sudanese authorities must stop firing at protesters peacefully exercising their freedom of expression. The killing of people who are simply taking a stand for what they believe in is completely unacceptable,” said Joan Nyanyuki, Amnesty International’s Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

    Amnesty International has verified that two men were killed early Tuesday morning, one close to his house in Omdurman as he returned from the sit-in. The other was killed after what appeared to be a skirmish between National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) and police on the one hand, and officers of the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) on the other. An army officer was also reportedly shot in the head in the early morning clashes.

    February 25, 2019

     

    The Sudanese authorities must end measures taken under the state of emergency to violently crush dissent amid ongoing nationwide protests in the country, Amnesty International said.

    Following the declaration of a state of emergency on Friday, the government has deployed large numbers of security forces – including the army – to target protesters.

    Thousands of Sudanese people are again protesting today in various parts of the country. Security officers today invaded the Ahfad University for Women in Omdurman dispersing students with teargas and beatings.

    “The state of emergency is being used by the Sudanese authorities as a justification to flagrantly increase the use of live ammunition and tear gas against protesters, and to torture detainees without any restraint,” said Joan Nyanyuki Amnesty International’s Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

    February 12, 2019

    Kenyan Court Drops Oversight

    The Kenyan police and the South Sudanese authorities should ensure effective, transparent and impartial investigations into the enforced disappearance of two South Sudanese critics in Nairobi more than two years ago, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said today.

    On January 17, 2019, a Kenyan High Court ended its 24-month oversight of the police investigation into the disappearances of Dong Samuel Luak, a prominent South Sudanese lawyer and human rights activist, and Aggrey Idri, a member of the political opposition. They were snatched off the streets of Nairobi on January 23 and 24, 2017 respectively. The families had initiated the petition for judicial review following concerns that the Kenyan Police had not effectively investigated.

    January 22, 2019

    Responding to the ‘not guilty’ verdict issued today at the re-trial of Sudanese student activist, Asim Omar Hassan, who was originally sentenced to death for killing a police officer during protests in 2016, Joan Nyanyuki, Amnesty International’s Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes, said:

    “We join Asim’s family in celebrating this good news which comes as a huge relief after he was originally sentenced to death for a crime he did not commit.”

    “The authorities must however conduct an independent and effective investigation into allegations that he was tortured in prison. Though Asim has been acquitted, justice can only truly be done once the officials responsible for his ill-treatment are held to account, and he has been provided with appropriate redress for his injuries and imprisonment.

    “The Sudanese authorities must review laws that allow for the torture and ill-treatment of detainees, notably by the National Intelligence and Security Services and the police.”

    Background

    January 18, 2019

    Sudan’s security forces must stop their ongoing deadly onslaught on protesters and medical personnel, Amnesty International said today following the death of two people, one of whom was a doctor, from gunshot wounds inflicted during the 17 January protests in Khartoum’s Burri district.

    The organization also received reports of further raids of medical facilities by security personnel, who fired teargas inside hospitals and assaulted doctors.

    “It is an outrage that Sudanese security forces continue to use lethal force on protestors and key service providers like doctors, killing people in an unbridled spree, said Sarah Jackson, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

    January 10, 2019

    Sudanese security officers last night entered a hospital and fired live bullets and teargas horrifying patients and hospital staff as they pursued people seeking treatment after they sustained gunshot injuries during protests earlier in the day in Omdurman, on the outskirts of Khartoum.

    The security officers opened fire in the hospital court yard and then marched into the emergency and medical sections of the Omdurman Hospital roughing up both patients and doctors.

    “This attack on a hospital is an outrageous violation of international law. Patients and doctors in Omdurman Hospital were attacked with tear gas and live bullets as Sudanese security forces ramped up their mission to suppress peaceful protests,” said Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes, Sarah Jackson.

    “There must be an urgent investigation into this horrific attack, and all officers involved must be held accountable. The Government of Sudan must also take immediate action to stop the practice of shooting protesters and respect the Sudanese people’s right to freedom of expression.”

    December 24, 2018

    Amnesty International has credible reports that 37 protesters have been shot dead by the security forces in five days of anti-government demonstrations that have rocked the country.

    “With further protest planned tomorrow, the fact that the security forces are using lethal force so indiscriminately against unarmed protesters is extremely troubling,” said Sarah Jackson,

    Amnesty International’s deputy director for East Africa, the Great Lakes and the Horn.

    “With dozens already dead, the government must rein in this deadly use of force and prevent more unnecessary bloodshed. Instead, of trying to stop people from demonstrating, the authorities should be focusing on ending longstanding repression of human rights and resolving the economic crisis that have collectively precipitated these protests.”

    Background

    For further information see https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2018/12/sudan-shooting-of-protestors-must-be-immediately-investigated/

    December 21, 2018

    In response to security officers opening fire on protestors in Sudan leaving at least nine people dead, five of whom were students, and dozens more injured over the past two days, Seif Magango, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes, said:

    “These killings must stop. Opening fire on unarmed protesters cannot be justified and what is clearly needed now is an independent, efficient investigation into these events. All those responsible for unnecessary or excessive use of force, including those with command responsibility, must be brought to justice. 

    “The government must also immediately and unconditionally release all those arrested for peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression, association and assembly.

    “It must address the root cause of the rapidly deteriorating economic conditions in the country instead of trying to prevent people from fully exercising their right to protest against the growing hardships they are facing.”

    Background

    November 01, 2018

    Sudanese authorities have this year been unrelenting in their quest to silence independent media by arresting and harassing journalists, and censoring both print and broadcast media, Amnesty International said today.

    The organization documented the arrest and detention of at least 15 journalists between January and October 2018 by the government’s National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISS). In addition, the entire print run of 10 newspapers was confiscated on at least 27 occasions. Al Jareeda, one of the last independent newspapers, has been confiscated at least 13 times this year.  

    “Since the beginning of 2018 the Government of Sudan, through its security machinery, has been unrelenting in its crackdown on press freedom by attacking journalists and media organizations,” said Sarah Jackson, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

    “Instead of embracing freedom of expression, the hostility directed towards independent media shows the lengths to which the Sudanese authorities will go to silence dissidence.”

    October 11, 2018

    The brutal beating of 24-year-old student activist Asim Omar Hassan by prison guards in Kober prison must be independently and thoroughly investigated and those responsible brought to justice, Amnesty International said today as he was admitted to hospital.

    According to his lawyers, on 3 October – just days before he was due in court for the first hearing of his case, now under re-trial - Asim Omar was repeatedly beaten with blunt instruments and whipped across his chest until he fainted. He was unable to appear in court because of his injuries, prompting the court to order his hospitalization. 

    “This young man has already suffered enormously at the hands of the politically compromised justice system in Sudan. He has been in detention for more than two years, held in at least three different detention centres, where he was severely beaten and subjected to other torture during interrogations,” said Joan Nyanyuki, Amnesty International’s Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

    October 09, 2018

    The Sudanese authorities are yet to bring to justice a single person for the killing of at least 185 people who were shot either in the head, chest or back by Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) and the police during the country’s infamous September 2013 protests on the high cost of living, Amnesty International said today in a statement to the UN Human Rights Committee.

    “Without a single conviction five years on, it is clear that the investigations have either been woefully inadequate, or there is a cover-up to protect the officers deployed to quell the protests. This points to deeply ingrained impunity in Sudan,” said Joan Nyanyuki, Amnesty International’s Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

    The government claims it established three State Commissions of Inquiry to investigate the September 2013 protest killings, but the findings have not been made public, and no one suspected to be responsible has been brought to justice for the killings.

    July 11, 2018

    The government of Sudan has intensified its attempts to silence Matar Younis Ali Hussein, a visually impaired religious teacher who faces the death penalty for nothing more than criticising the government’s repression in Darfur and standing up for human rights, said Amnesty International ahead of a court hearing on 12 July.

    Matar Younis, aged 48, could face the death penalty or life imprisonment if found guilty of trumped up charges of allegedly ‘waging war against the State’ and ‘undermining the constitutional system’. He has also been charged with ‘espionage’.

    “The Sudanese authorities have continuously shown contempt for the human rights of the people of Darfur. Matar Younis has been one of the few voices for victims in Darfur who has consistently, fearlessly and publicly asked the government to change its harmful policies and protect the displaced people of Darfur. He should not be criminalized for standing up for human rights,” said Seif Magango, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

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