Press Statement of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Human Rights Situation in the Republic of The Sudan

    The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Commission) is deeply concerned by the events unfolding in the Republic of The Sudan.

    Protests reportedly began in December 2018 following a hike in the price of bread and fuel, as well as inflation which rose to nearly 70% raising the price of other essential goods.  

    In addition to the current economic hardship faced by the population, reports aver that protestors are disgruntled by the restricted political space for meaningful participation. 

    According to information reaching the Commission the protests have been met by excessive use of force by security forces who have fired live ammunition and tear gas at protestors. Reports indicate that security forces also fired live ammunition and tear gas into hospital premises, where protesters were taking shelter.

    It is reported that over thirty (30) civilians have been killed, and up to a thousand detained. Those detained include students, opposition leaders, journalists and human rights defenders.

    The Commission is concerned that if the above-stated allegations are accurate they would amount to a serious violation of the provisions in the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Charter) to which the Republic of The Sudan is a party.

    The Commission however welcomes recent reports which indicate that the Chief of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) has issued an order to release all persons detained during protests. 

    In light of the above, the Commission calls on the Government of the Republic of The Sudan to:

    ·         carry out impartial, prompt and effective investigations into the circumstances that lead to the deaths and arbitrary detention of protestors, and bring perpetrators to justice;

    ·         take all necessary measures to uphold the Sudanese peoples’ fundamental human rights, particularly the right to life, the right to political participation, freedom of assembly, freedom of expression and access to information;

    ·         Ensure that those in detention are released further to the release order by the Chief of NISS;

    ·         take the necessary measures to ensure the security and safety of its population;

    ·         Ensure that victims and their families obtain full redress; and

    ·         Uphold its obligations under the regional and international human rights instruments to which it is a party, in particular the African Charter.

    The Commission also calls on non-state actors, particularly leaders and members of opposition parties, activists, other stakeholders and the general population to refrain from all acts of violence.

    The Commission calls on all parties to comply with the rights and duties enshrined in the African Charter.

    The Commission will remain actively seized of this matter.

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      Date: 11 February 2019

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