The brutal killing of an 18-year-old Sudanese university student by intelligence agents yesterday must be urgently and impartially investigated, Amnesty International said today, as repression of students in the country intensifies.
Abubakar Hassan Mohamed Taha, a first year engineering student at the University of Kordofan in Al-Obeid, the capital of North Kordofan State, died of a gunshot wound to the head. Another 27 students were injured, five of them seriously.
“This violent attack is yet another shocking episode in a series of human rights violations against university students across Sudan and underlines the government’s determination to put out the last vestiges of dissent,” Muthoni Wanyeki, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.
“The reprehensible violence by state agents against the students must be thoroughly and impartially investigated and those responsible brought to justice.”
On 16 August 2015, Ferdous Al Toum was found guilty of ‘indecent or immoral dress’ and sentenced to 20 lashes and a fine of 500 Sudanese pounds.
She was arrested along with 11 other young women on 25 June who were leaving a church ceremony at the Evangelical Baptist Church in Khartoum North.
The women were all wearing skirts or trousers, yet were accused of ‘indecent or immoral dress’. After they were arrested, the women were kept in the police station for over 24 hours, where they say they were subjected to degrading treatment and humiliating verbal abuse.Charged again for her clothing
Ferdous was not only sentenced for her appearance outside the church – she was charged again for the clothes she wore in the courtroom at her trial.
Amnesty International's new report documents:
• targeting of civilians, schools, hospitals and local relief organizations
• indiscriminate aerial bombardments and ground offensives
• use of cluster munitions and prohibited weapons
> Download and Read the full report (pdf, 2.7 mb)
Government forces in Sudan have committed war crimes against the civilian population of South Kordofan, Amnesty International has definitively confirmed for the first time in a new report published today.
“A hem-line is not a crime.” – Sarah JacksonThe Public Order Police have charged 10 female Christian students with "indecent dress” and subjected them to verbal abuse during their detention. The charge carries the punishment of flogging. Protect Christian women from flogging
The authorities in Sudan must immediately release 10 women who were arrested in the capital, Khartoum, charged with ‘indecent dress’, and the charges against them should be dropped, said Amnesty International today.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.