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Sudan

    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.

    July 03, 2018

    Today’s decision by a Sudanese court to quash Noura Hussein’s death sentence and replace it with a five-year prison term for killing her husband in self-defence during an attempted rape must be a catalyst for a legal review in Sudan, said Amnesty International.

    Noura Hussein was sentenced to death on 10 May 2018. Her husband, Abdulrahman Mohamed Hammad, suffered fatal knife wounds during a scuffle at their home after he had attempted to force himself on her with the help of three other men. The revised sentence means she will spend five years in jail from the date of her arrest and will have to make a dia (blood money) payment of 337,500 Sudanese pounds (around US$8,400).

    “While the quashing of this death sentence is hugely welcome news, it must now lead to a legal review to ensure that Noura Hussein is the last person to go through this ordeal,” said Seif Magango, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

    “Noura Hussein was the victim of a brutal attack by her husband and five years’ imprisonment for acting in self-defence is a disproportionate punishment.

    June 28, 2018
    Ahead of a critical vote at the UN Security Council on Saturday that will consider the restructuring and downsizing of the joint African Union-United Nations mission in Darfur (UNAMID), Amnesty International is releasing exclusive satellite and photo images showing extensive damage caused by ongoing attacks on villages in the region.
      The images show at least 18 villages in the eastern parts of the Jebel Marra area of Darfur were burnt by government and allied militia forces over the past three months. These images corroborate witness accounts, earlier collected by Amnesty International, from at least 13 affected villages.
     
    June 26, 2018

    Today’s decision by a Sudanese court to quash Noura Hussein’s death sentence and replace it with a five-year prison term for killing her husband in self-defence during an attempted rape must be a catalyst for a legal review in Sudan, said Amnesty International.

    Noura Hussein was sentenced to death on 10 May 2018. Her husband, Abdulrahman Mohamed Hammad, suffered fatal knife wounds during a scuffle at their home after he had attempted to force himself on her with the help of three other men. The revised sentence means she will spend five years in jail from the date of her arrest and will have to make a dia (blood money) payment of 337,500 Sudanese pounds (around US$8,400).

    “While the quashing of this death sentence is hugely welcome news, it must now lead to a legal review to ensure that Noura Hussein is the last person to go through this ordeal,” said Seif Magango, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

    “Noura Hussein was the victim of a brutal attack by her husband and five years’ imprisonment for acting in self-defence is a disproportionate punishment.

    May 31, 2018

    Human rights activist and prisoner of conscience Husham Ali Mohammad Ali must be released from detention in Khartoum immediately and unconditionally, Amnesty International said today.

    Husham Ali was deported from Saudi Arabia this week, arrested upon arrival in Sudan and detained at the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) headquarters.

    “Having been a courageous political and online activist against torture and corruption Husham Ali is at great risk of torture and other ill-treatment while in the hands of the NISS. Pending his release, he must be granted unfettered access to a lawyer of his choice and to his family,” said Joan Nyanyuki, Amnesty International Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

    Husham Ali was arrested by the Saudi Arabian authorities in November 2017 and held in solitary confinement until January 2018, when he was moved to shared cell. In March 2018, he was moved from Dhaban prison to Al Shumaisi detention centre, an immigration centre outside Jeddah.

    May 22, 2018

    Amnesty International has called for an immediate investigation into a deadly attack by a pro-government militia on an internally displaced persons (IDP) camp in Central Darfur, in which one woman was shot dead and at least 10 people injured.

    On 21 May, the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), a pro-government militia, on board of five pick-up trucks and armed with machine guns, attacked the IDP camp in the city of Zalingei. A 22-year-old woman was shot in the head and later died in hospital. Ten others, including children, sustained serious head, neck, arm and leg injuries. The reasons for the attack remain unclear.

    “The victims of this appalling attack were forced to flee from their homes by the violence that has plagued Darfur for years, and this camp was supposed to be a place of safety. Unless the perpetrators of gross human rights violations like this are brought to justice, the voluntary and safe return to home of Darfur’s displaced will remain a distant prospect,” said Joan Nyanyuki, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East Africa.

    May 11, 2018

    A Sudanese court’s sentencing today of a 19-year-old woman to death for killing her rapist husband in self-defence highlights the failure of the authorities to tackle child marriage, forced marriage and marital rape, Amnesty International said today. 

    Noura Hussein Hamad has been held in the Omdurman Women’s Prison since May 2017, and was today handed the death sentence for killing the man her father forced her to marry when she was 16 years old.

    “Noura Hussein life-long wish was to become a teacher but she ended up being forced to marry an abusive man who raped and brutalized her. Now she has been slapped with a death sentence by a court which refused to recognize the existence of rape within marriage. Noura Hussein is a victim and the sentence against her is an intolerable act of cruelty,” said Seif Magango, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

    April 11, 2018

    Following news that Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir has released at least 56 opposition activists after they spent up to 84 days in arbitrary detention for protesting against the escalating cost of food and healthcare, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes, Joan Nyanyuki said:

    “We welcome the news of their release, but there is no place to treat the release of arbitrarily detained activists as a gift from the government. These detentions should never have happened at all in the first place and the government does not deserve congratulations.

    “For close to three months, the lives, families and livelihoods of each of the detainees had come to a standstill - just because they peacefully exercised their right to freedom of expression.

    “The Sudanese authorities should ensure that all those still arbitrarily detained are released and no such detentions should happen in the future. Sudan should further ensure that torture and all other forms of ill-treatment also do not happen. Several of these detainees were subjected to ill-treatment in detention.”



    Background

    February 22, 2018
    Amnesty International publishes State of the World’s Human Rights report for 2017 to 2018 “Last year our world was immersed in crises, with prominent leaders offering us a nightmarish vision of a society blinded by hatred and fear. This emboldened those who promote bigotry, but it inspired far more people to campaign for a more hopeful future,” says Salil Shetty, head of Amnesty International

    The world is reaping the terrifying consequences of hate-filled rhetoric that threatens to normalize massive discrimination against marginalized groups, Amnesty International warned today as it launched its annual assessment of human rights.

    Nevertheless, the organization found that a growing movement of both first-time and seasoned activists campaigning for social justice provides real hope of reversing the slide towards oppression.

    The report, The State of the World’s Human Rights, covers 159 countries and delivers the most comprehensive analysis of the state of human rights in the world today.

    September 05, 2017

    Dr. Mudawi Ibrahim Adam, prominent Sudanese human rights defender has been released with all charges against him dropped - along with five other human rights defenders, late on August 29.

    Reacting to the good news, Sarah Jackson, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes, said:

    “It is a great relief that this awful chapter has drawn to a close. Dr Mudawi, a prisoner of conscience, has been reunited with his family and is once again a free man.

    August 30, 2017

    Reacting to news that Sudanese human rights defender Dr Mudawi Ibrahim Adam has been released from prison and all charges against him dropped, Sarah Jackson, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes, said:

    “It is a great relief that this awful chapter has drawn to a close. Dr Mudawi, a prisoner of conscience, has been reunited with his family and is once again a free man.

    “Dr Mudawi’s eight months in prison represent a grave miscarriage of justice and his release must serve as a first step towards ending the criminalization of human rights work in Sudan. The authorities’ relentless assault on any form of criticism endangers anyone who dares to speak out, and it must stop.”

    Mudawi was released, along with five other human rights defenders, late on 29 August. He faced six trumped-up charges, including 'undermining the constitutional system’ and ‘waging war against the state', both of which carry either the death penalty or life imprisonment. All charges against him have been dropped.

    For more on Amnesty International’s campaigning for Dr Mudawi, please click on the links below:

    July 28, 2017

    United Nations peacekeepers in South Sudan (UNMISS) must shore up efforts to protect civilians, Amnesty International said ahead of a 31 July to 2 August country visit by the UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix. 

    According to UNMISS, Lacroix will meet with political leaders, humanitarian actors, and internally displaced people (IDPs) – including those sheltering in UNMISS-run sites in Malakal and Bentiu. 

    July 24, 2017
    Thousands of South Sudanese women and girls, and some men, who have been raped in ethnically-charged sexual attacks in the ongoing conflict are battling mental distress and stigma with nowhere to turn for help, Amnesty International revealed in a new report out today.   “Do not remain silent”: Survivors of Sexual violence in South Sudan call for justice and reparations, reveals aggravated acts of sexual violence against thousands of people across the country since hostilities began in December 2013. The report is the result of a joint research project between Amnesty International and 10 South Sudanese human rights defenders who cannot be named due to fear of reprisals from the government of South Sudan.  
    July 19, 2017
    The Sudanese authorities must end the continued discrimination of Darfuri students at universities, said Amnesty International today as more than 1,000 Darfuri students of Bakht al-Rida University in White Nile State descended on the capital Khartoum to demand the release of 10 of their colleagues accused of killing two police officers.   The students are now blockaded on the southern edge of the capital Khartoum after they were stopped by National Intelligence Security Service (NISS) agents from delivering a statement listing their demands to the government. They also want 14 other colleagues who were expelled from the university readmitted.   “These students only want to present a petition to their leaders, but instead of helping and protecting them, the NISS have chosen to block them, in callous disregard of their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly,” said Muthoni Wanyeki, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes. “Instead of stopping them, the authorities should protect them and ensure that their grievances are heard.”
    June 20, 2017

    Tens of thousands of civilians in South Sudan’s Upper Nile region were forcibly displaced as government forces burnt, shelled and systematically looted their homes between January and May 2017, Amnesty International said today, after interviewing dozens of victims and eyewitnesses.

    Civilians belonging to the Shilluk minority told Amnesty International how government troops and allied militias stole anything they could get their hands on in the aftermath of attacks, from stored food supplies to furniture and even the front doors of houses. One village chief described the destruction as though the area had been “swept by a flood.”

    “Even considering South Sudan’s history of ethnic hostility, the mass displacement of the Shilluk ethnic minority, almost in its entirety, is truly shocking,” said Joanne Mariner, Senior Crisis Response Adviser at Amnesty International.

    “Whole areas of the Shilluk heartland have been ravaged, with civilians’ homes burnt and their belongings and food stores looted. This leaves them with little prospect of returning home, given the region’s growing humanitarian crisis and their fears of renewed violence.”

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