Sudan Needs Closer Scrutiny by UN Human Rights Council
Freedom House calls on the UN Human Rights Council to strengthen the mandate of the Independent Expert on Sudan to address the grave human rights situation in the country. The Independent Expert’s mandate is up for renewal at the Council's current session.
Human rights conditions in Sudan have deteriorated in recent months. In April 2013, Sudanese forces and government-sponsored militias razed dozens of villages in central Darfur, killing 42 people, destroying 2,800 buildings, and displacing about 30,000 people. More than 300,000 people have been displaced in 2013, more than in the last two years combined. The Sudanese government has also tightened its grip on political space in the country, reinstating a policy of pre-print censorship in April 2013 and, the following month, shooting nine students at a university protest. In response to demonstrations yesterday against increased fuel prices, the government has reportedly arrested more than 20 people, including students and opposition party members.
“The Independent Expert is one of the few reliable sources of information on the human rights situation in Sudan,” said Vukasin Petrovic, director of Sub-Saharan Africa programs at Freedom House. “If properly empowered, he can provide a clear picture of the abuses being committed against the Sudanese people and bolster the efforts of Sudanese activists to improve human rights conditions from within the country.”
Under his current mandate, the Independent Expert has been denied access to many areas of Sudan where abuses are most prevalent, and on his two trips to the country, was accompanied at all times by government security forces, which severely limited his ability to gain an objective view of the human rights situation.
"The UN Human Rights Council needs to strengthen the Independent Expert's mandate, so that he can investigate and report on human rights abuses in Sudan without hindrance," added Petrovic. "The abuses taking place in Sudan call out for closer scrutiny by the UN Human Rights Council."
Sudan is rated Not Free in Freedom in the World 2013 and Freedom of the Press 2013.
To learn more about Sudan, visit:
Freedom in the World 2013: Sudan
Freedom of the Press 2013: Sudan
Blog: Sudan’s Desperate Crackdown on Human Rights Activists
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy in human rights.
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Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.