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Archive for the tag “Human Rights Defenders”

Press Release on the Human Rights Situation in the Republic of The Sudan (15.12.2016)

niss-head

The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Commission) continues to follow closely the deteriorating human rights situation in the Republic of The Sudan, State Party to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Charter).

The Commission’s Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders in Africa, Hon. Commissioner Reine Alapini-Gansou, is deeply concerned by the deteriorating human rights situation in the Republic of The Sudan, in particular: the constant harassment of human right defenders by the Sudanese National Intelligence and Security services (NISS); the arbitrary arrest and detention in secret places by the NISS; and the inhumane treatment meted on human right defenders when arrested and detained.

The Special Rapporteur has received reports of the alleged arbitrary arrest and detention in an unknown location of Dr Wudawi Ibrahim Adam and his driver Mr Adam El-Sheikh by the NISS, and of Mr Akram Ahmed who has been repeated summoned and held by the NISS.

The Special Rapporteur notes that the constant arrests and detention of human rights defenders by security forces of the Republic of The Sudan is a tactic used by the Sudanese authorities to obstruct the work of human right defenders and activist, in their promotion and protection of human rights.

The Special Rapporteur recalls particularly the cases of Dr Wudawi Ibrahim Adam and Mr. Akram Ahmed who have severally suffered numerous arrests and detentions and have been subjected to inhumane treatments while in detention.

The Special Rapporteur condemns the suppression of the rights of human rights defenders and the reprisals meted upon human rights defenders and activist in the Republic of The Sudan, and calls on the Government of the Republic of The Sudan to:

  1. Provide clarification to the African Commission regarding the above-stated allegations of the arbitrary arrest of Dr Wudawi and his driver, the illegal search conducted on his property and their detention in an undisclosed location, and the repeated summoning and detention of Mr Akram Ahmed;
  2. Immediately release all human rights defenders arbitrarily arrested and to refrain from repeatedly summoning, questioning and detaining human rights defenders; including Dr Wudawi Ibrahim Adam and Mr. Akram Ahmed
  3. Take all necessary measures to guarantee the physical and psychological integrity and security of all human rights defenders in the Republic of The Sudan;
  4. Guarantee in all circumstances that all human rights defenders in the Republic of The Sudan are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions;
  5. Uphold its obligations under regional and international human rights law, including by refraining from undue interference and suppression of the rights of human rights defenders.

The Special Rapporteur would like to remind the Sudanese authorities of their obligations to guarantee fundamental rights, including: the right on equality before the law and equal protection of the law; the right to dignity and integrity of the person; the right to be free from all form of inhumane and degrading treatment/punishment; the right to liberty and security of the person and to be protected from arbitrary arrests and detention; the rights to freedom of association, assembly and expression; as enshrined in Articles 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10 and 11 of the African Charter.

The Special Rapporteur continues to monitor developments on the situation of human rights defenders in the Republic of The Sudan and calls on the African Union and the international community to contribute towards the effective realization of human and peoples’ rights in the Republic of The Sudan as a whole.

Done in Banjul-The Gambia, 13 December 2016

Honourable Commissioner Reine Alapini-Gansou

Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders in Africa

Sudan: UN expert calls for a positive environment for a free and inclusive national dialogue (29.04.2016)

Sudan Newspapers

GENEVA, Switzerland, April 29, 2016The United Nations Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in the Sudan, Aristide Nononsi, urged the Sudanese Government “to enable a conducive environment for a free and inclusive national dialogue by respecting the basic fundamental rights of Sudanese people, including the rights to freedoms of expression and association, and of the press.”

“I remain concerned about a number of human rights issues in the country,” Mr. Nononsi said at the end of his second mission to the Sudan. “I continue to hear about cases of arbitrary arrests and detention, as well as allegations of ill-treatment and travel ban on human rights defenders and political activists by security forces, including the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS).”

The Independent Expert raised concern with the relevant authorities about the arrest and detention without charges of four pastors in Khartoum since mid-December 2016 as well as those of five students from the University of Khartoum since 13 April 2016.

“I was informed that the first case was transferred to judicial authorities who have charged the four pastors with criminal offenses. I was also informed that the case of the students will be shortly handed over to the relevant judicial authorities for prosecutions,” he noted. “I call on Sudanese authorities to ensure that the right to a fair trial and due process is guaranteed to these individuals.”

Mr. Nononsi also drew attention to the ongoing censorship of newspapers, and increased restrictions on journalists from freely expressing their opinion. “I raised the suspension since mid-December 2015 of the Al-Tayar newspaper with the authorities, and I strongly recommended that the appeal of Al-Tayar newspaper against NISS’ decision to suspend its operations is guaranteed an independent judicial review along with provision of adequate compensation,” he added.

The Independent Expert recalled that, in recent weeks, the authorities prevented four Sudanese human rights defenders from attending the pre-briefing session of the Universal Periodic Review* in Geneva

“I would like to emphasize the important role played by human rights defenders and journalists, and stress the need for the Government of Sudan to allow them to carry out their activities in an open, safe and secure environment,” the human rights expert said.

(*) NOTE TO EDITORS: The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a unique process which involves a review of the human rights records of all UN Member States. The UPR is a State-driven process, under the auspices of the UN Human Rights Council, which provides the opportunity for each State to declare what actions they have taken to improve the human rights situations in their countries and to fulfil their human rights obligations. As one of the main features of the Council, the UPR is designed to ensure equal treatment for every country when their human rights situations are assessed. The ultimate aim of this mechanism is to improve the human rights situation in all countries and address human rights violations wherever they occur.

Dr. Kizza Besigye statement on the Police-Force, how he was detained and the house-arrest during the 25th of February (26.02.2016)

KB 25.02.2015

Tonight, I feel like becoming a real “terrorist”! This is the effect of endless acts of impunity on the part of the Uganda Police. When the people assigned the responsibility of maintaining law and order become deliberate and arrogant law breakers, where does one turn to? The day (Thursday 25th Feb 2016) started on a bright side, with a visit by my colleague Maj Gen (rtd) Benon Biraro, who shared a number of ideas on how our country could be put back on rails.

I was also expecting a visit from some Human Rights defenders, including Ms Maria Burnett of the Human Rights Watch. These visitors had come to see me the previous day but were blocked by the police at the barricade they erected on the driveway to our home. In spite of sending my aide to plead with the police (since I couldn’t be allowed to get there myself), they were turned away after waiting for more than 2hrs. They were, instead, asked to come back today at 9am. The Human Rights defenders, who arrived at the police blockade at 8.45am, eventually left about 10am without seeing me. After the usual lengthy “consultations”, that involve talking to the top police commanders, my visitors were told that they won’t be allowed to see me! Shortly after 10am, some visitors, who hadn’t informed me of their visit (a normal occurrence), arrived at the police blockade in a minibus from Kakiri, in our District of Wakiso.

As they inquired from the police whether they could be allowed in to see me, the goons that man the notorious police van UP 4860 sprung into action. They opened the minibus, pulled out two of the occupants and threw them into their van. The driver of the minibus quickly reversed and sped off with the other visitors. At 11am, I made my attempt at leaving home for Najjanankumbi, our party headquarters. As before, I was told that I wasn’t allowed to move out. When I insisted, I was arrested and pushed into the notorious van.

Here, I found two terrified men that were in immense pain. The van had a strong smell of pepper spray that immediately made my sore throat worse and affected my eyes. The two men informed me that they had been badly beaten and pepper-sprayed while in the van. One of the men held in the van, named Jamilu Budde (whom I know) was crying with pain and holding his left arm in a manner that suggested he could have had a broken collar bone.
I pleaded with the “Commander” of the van, one Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Kidandi to let me help Budde with First Aid and get him taken to the clinic, but this was denied. Instead, the two men were roughly thrown off the van and I was carried away alone. After driving through Matugga, Kawempe, Mpererwe, Kisaasi, Northern Bypass, and Naalya, I was deposited in Kira Division police Hqs. This is where I stayed until I was given a bond and “released” at about 9pm.

I made it clear, like before, that if the reason they arrested still existed, then they should keep me in detention. Otherwise, once freed, I should be truly free and not expect the police to detain me at my home. As before, I was told that I’d no choice but to be taken back home. I am now back home and, as before, detained there! I tried as much as I could, unsuccessfully, to demand that they take me to a proper (gazatted) detention place or let me free. My sore throat was worsened by the pepper spray I found in the van. I informed my captors about this and that I would do well to consult my physician. All this fell on deaf ears. I have since found out that Mr Budde and his colleague, who were tortured and left on our home’s driveway earlier, were later briefly held at Kasangati Police Station and later transferred to Kireka Police. Mr Budde hasn’t had any medical attention that I am sure he badly needs.
This is the dilemma of leaving in a country governed by a rogue regime. This is the very reason I wake up early everyday to do something about it. I am confident that, by the Grace of God, we shall overcome.
One Uganda, One People!!

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