Sudan: Military authorities must immediately stop the use of force against protesters

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Khartoum, Nairobi, Paris, 30 June 2022 — On 30 June, the anniversary day of the seizure of power by former Sudanese leader Omar al-Bashir in 1989, the Sudanese people once again took to the streets to express their deep desire to end the military dictatorship. As they reiterate their demands, the deadly repression of popular and peaceful demonstrations by the ruling authorities must no longer go unpunished. The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), the African Center for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS), and the Sudan Human Rights Monitor (SHRM) strongly condemn and call for an immediate end to the use of force by the Sudanese security forces.

On 30 June 2022, as protesters gathered on the double anniversary of the 1989 putsch and of the demonstrations that led to Omar al-Bashir’s forced step down in 2019, nine demonstrators were killed. Over 500 (of which 85 are currently at Omdurman hospital and six in North Darfur) were injured by live ammunition and gunfire, including by snipers posted on the main roads. 150 people, including 27 women, are in detention. Many of the detainees have been injured and tortured, according to members of the organisation Emergency Lawyers, while lawyers have been prevented from entering police stations.

Our organisations are deeply concerned with the deliberate attacks on the population, aimed at silencing, at all costs, the voices calling for an end to military rule. The internet shutdown illustrates the government’s desire to silence and contain the voices of civilians, human rights defenders, and civil society organisations who hold out hope for an end to decades of impunity in Sudan.

Since the 25 October 2021 coup, the civil-military hiatus ended, and the practices of the former regime have resurfaced. Sudanese security forces operate with impunity. More than 112 civilians have lost their lives in demonstrations and more than 5,000 were injured. Harassment and attacks on freedom of expression contribute to the closure of civic and democratic space, to the detriment of civil society and human rights organisations.

“The use of the judicial system by the authorities, which has led to politicised trials, to detain opponents and civil society figures is reminiscent of the dark periods in recent Sudanese history.”

Mossaad Mohamed Ali, executive director of ACJPS

The worrying increase in violence in Darfur and Kordofan is another sign of the climate of impunity in the country. In West Darfur, at least 276 people were killed and 65,000 displaced. The October 2020 Juba Peace Agreement is not being implemented and the government is violating its obligation to protect civilians.

“The military must respond to the aspirations of the Sudanese people for freedom, peace and justice. These demands include an end to the impunity that persists in Sudan.”

Ahmed Elzobier, director of SHRM

Perpetrators of serious human rights violations must be prosecuted. This includes international crimes committed during the time of Omar al-Bashir’s regime, as well as crimes committed during the transitional period, including the 3 June massacre, and since the 2021 coup.

“Our organisations call on international and regional partners to condemn without further delay the increasing human rights violations throughout the country and support the Sudanese people’s aspiration to consolidate democracy.”

Sheila Muwanga, vice-president of FIDH
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