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Sudan

    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.

    April 22, 2015

    Sudan’s ongoing election period has been characterized by state sponsored human rights violations with dissent violently suppressed and political opposition figures subjected to arbitrary arrest, Amnesty International said. 

    Sudan went to the polls from 13-15 April in the country’s first election since the south ceded from the north in 2011, although final results have not yet been announced. 

    “This election was meant to mark a brighter future for Sudan’s citizens, but instead it has been blighted by a wave of repression coupled with an appalling lack of accountability,” said Michelle Kagari, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director. 

    April 10, 2015

    Sudan must end arbitrary detentions and ensure restitution for the three opposition political party leaders released yesterday, Amnesty International urged, with less than a week to go until the country’s elections.

    Farouk Abu Iss, Dr. Amin Maki Madani and Farah Al-Aggar were freed today after being arbitrarily detained for more than four months because of their political opposition to the government.

    “These three men had been arbitrarily detained solely for the peaceful exercise of their right to freedom of expression. We had demanded their immediate and unconditional release.  It has taken 124 days for the Minister of Justice to dismiss their case, which was clearly politically motivated,” said Muthoni Wanyeki, Amnesty International’s Regional director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

    “The government of Sudan should offer restitution to the three for their arbitrary detention. It should also prevent any further arbitrary or unlawful detentions, particularly in the context of the upcoming elections.”

    April 01, 2015

    Posted at 0001hrs GMT 2 April 2015

    With the general elections fast approaching in Sudan, the government’s clampdown on dissenting voices threatens the independence and freedom of action of civil society organizations, human rights defenders, students, the media and members of the political opposition, Amnesty International said in a briefing launched today. 

    The clampdown has been exacerbated by recent constitutional amendments giving sweeping powers to the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS). 

    “As Sudan enters elections, the NISS’s control of what the media should say and what civil society can comment or act on is deeply disturbing,” said Michelle Kagari, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for East Africa. 

    “Human rights violations by NISS, now at unprecedented levels, only serve to quell dissent and criticism of the National Congress Party (NCP) government in the run up to April’s general elections,” said Michelle Kagari. 

    February 10, 2015

    Amnesty International UK Press Release
     

    Amnesty International is urging the authorities in Sudan to disclose the whereabouts of two church leaders who were arrested by the country’s National Intelligence and Security Service in Khartoum last December and January.

    Both Reverend Yat Michael and Reverend Peter Yen – of the South Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church – are being detained incommunicado, in an unknown location without access to their families or lawyers and are at risk of torture or ill-treatment.

    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.

    September 02, 2014

    Released 3 September 00:01 BST

    The brutal suppression of protest in Sudan must end, and members of the security forces responsible for killing, injuring, and torturing protesters must be held to account, said Amnesty International and the African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS) in a report published today.

    The report, Excessive and deadly: The use of force, detention and torture against protesters in Sudan documents allegations of human rights violations committed by the security forces against mostly peaceful protesters over the past two years. It reveals a disturbing pattern of arbitrary arrest and detention, torture and excessive use of force, including the use of live ammunition resulting in scores of deaths and injuries. It also reveals a widespread state of impunity in which those allegedly responsible for these violations are not held to account.

    “The violent crackdown on dissent has meant that people expressing genuine grievances at government repression and economic austerity measures are met with batons, beatings and bullets,” said Manar Idriss, Amnesty International’s Sudan researcher.

    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.

    June 25, 2014

    The Sudanese government should immediately charge or release recently detained political activists, and investigate all allegations that they have  been subjected to torture and ill-treatment, the African Center for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS), Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and REDRESS said today. 

    Against a general background of restrictions on free speech and political organizing, the Sudanese authorities have clamped down in recent months on political opposition figures for criticizing Sudan’s abuses in conflict zones. President Omar al-Bashir promised in April 2014 to release all “political detainees.”  But Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) continues to arbitrarily detain political activists and opposition party members, as recently as mid-June, the organizations said.

    June 24, 2014

    Attacks on civilian areas, including indiscriminate aerial bombardments by Sudan’s government forces, have resulted in increased destruction in Southern Kordofan and may constitute a war crime, Amnesty International said in a new briefing published today.

    The armed conflict – which began three years ago – has intensified following the launch of a new military operation by Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) on 14 April. Satellite images secured by Amnesty International during that period offer further evidence of indiscriminate aerial bombardments and correspond to reports that homes, markets, hospitals and schools have been bombed.

    June 23, 2014
    Meriam Ibrahim was released from Omdurman Woman’s Prison today after an appeal court found her not guilty of the charges of 'apostasy' and 'adultery'.© AFP/Getty Images

    Today’s release of Meriam Yehya Ibrahim, a Christian Sudanese woman sentenced to death by hanging for ‘apostasy’ and to flogging for ‘adultery’, is a step towards undoing the horrific injustice visited on her, said Amnesty International today.
     

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