Statement on arbitrary arrests and detention of human rights defenders in Sudan
(January 3, 2019)
The Arab NGO Network for Development (ANND) and the Arab Organization for Human Rights (AOHR) condemns Sudanese Authorities aggressive reaction to the protests against dire economic and social conditions, social injustices and widespread corruption. ANND calls for the immediate release of all the political detainees and urges Sudan to respect the fundamental freedom and human Rights namely the freedom of peaceful assembly and expression and to conduct impartial and independent investigation of all violations that took place.
Today, both organizations learned the worrying news about the raid of National Civic Forum and the arrest of its member Dr Hassan Abdel Ati, the Secretary General of Sudanese National Civic Forum. Dr. Abdel Ati and his colleagues, as leaders of Civil Mobility were detained following the wave of arrests carried out by the Security Services since yesterday evening which reached more than 400 activists, human rights defenders and political opponents.
The uprising of the Sudanese people, which began almost two weeks ago, came in response to the harsh economic measures adopted by the regime following the requirements of the international financial institutions. There were other measures that Sudan could have opt for, including measures to end corruption and waste of human, natural and financial resources, rather than these austerity measures that came on the account of people. On the other hand, whereas the president’s move to amend the constitution allowed him to extend a third term; protesters’ called for him to step down as well.
The excessive use of force by the security forces, arbitrary arrests and detention are flagrant violations of the Human Rights mainly the right to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly in addition to the other violations that the regime has practiced throughout its rule, such as the right to live in dignity, political and civic participation. These developments pose further threat to stability in the Sudan; a country that has suffered internal armed conflicts, wars and secession. Urgent action to put an end to these practices is needed, and must be accompanied with conditions for the peaceful transfer of power that will restore security, stability and normal political life.
The Arab NGO Network for Development, along with its members in 12 Arab countries and partners all around the globe and the Arab Organization for Human Rights call on the international community to immediately intervene to put an end to the tragedy of the Sudanese people and demand the release of all arbitrarily detained and for immediate and impartial investigations for all cases of killings of protesters to end impunity for perpetrators.
Furthermore, ANND and AOHR call the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association and the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in the Sudan to request permission from the Sudanese authorities and undertake an in loco visit for further fact-finding and to issue a report to the Secretary-General of the United Nations and international public opinion conveying the truth as soon as possible.
In solidarity with Sudanese human rights defenders and activists
Glory to the martyrs of the uprising of the Sudanese people