Joint Oral Statement by FIDH and the ACJPS on the situation of human rights in the Sudan

Press release

24th Session of the Human Rights Council
25 September 2013
Genève, Suisse

Mr. President, Mr. Independent Expert,

FIDH and its member organisation, the African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies ACJPS, are deeply concerned about the deteriorating human rights situation in Sudan.

Over the past year, indiscriminate government attacks on civilian areas resulting in mass casualties and displacement, have continued to devastate the lives of people living in Darfur, Southern Kordofan, and Blue Nile. Government restrictions on access for humanitarian and human rights organisations to conflict zones have obstructed efforts to provide urgently needed assistance to civilians and independently monitor vio­la­tions and abuses of interna­tio­nal human rights and humanitarian laws.

Throughout the country, the government has increased restrictions on freedoms of expres­sion, association and assembly and shut down the space for independent national dialogue. Sudan’s National Intelli­gence and Security Services (NISS) and other security forces conti­nue to arbitrarily detain for prolonged periods of time perceived opponents, censor media, shut down public forums and violently disperse protests. Restrictions on freedom of reli­gion have increased, specifically targeting Christian minorities, and the authorities have con­ti­nued to implement Shari’a law corporal punishments that violate the international prohi­bition of torture and ill-treatment.

The government has failed to take any serious steps to stop or hold to account the perpe­trators of serious and widespread violations and abuses. Legislation that breaches Sudan’s international obligations and ena­bles the perpetration of human rights violations with impu­nity, such as the National Security Act of 2010, has not been reformed.

FIDH and ACJPS regret that the Human Rights Council has not addressed the ongoing systematic violations of human rights and international law in Sudan with the gravity that the situation requires – under agenda item 4. We call on the Council to condemn the vio­la­tions of international human rights and humanitarian law taking place in Sudan and to urge the government to allow the Independent Expert to monitor violations in all parts of the country and to seek and obtain information from a wide range of independent sources, so that his work can reflect the human rights crisis on the ground.

I thank you for your attention.

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