2014-12-13 07:27:00

UN warns of increased detentions in Sudan

(Vatican Radio) The United Nations Human rights agency has expressed concern about a pattern of detentions and prosecutions in Sudan in recent months.

Listen to the report by Peter Kenny:

Ravina Shamdasani of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said the Sudanese authorities’ actions appear aimed at silencing political opposition and criticism of the policies of the ruling party.

“The past six months have seen scores of political and youth activists, as well as prominent human rights defenders, detained,” she said.

She reported that Dr. Amin Makki Medani, 76, a prominent human rights defender and former UN Human Rights Office regional representative for the Arab region, and Dr. Farouk Abu Issa, 78, the leader of the opposition National Consensus Forum, were taken from their homes on 6 December by the Sudanese National Intelligence and Security Services.

Shamdasani said “there are serious concerns about the health and safety” both men, who require essential daily medication as they are diabetic.

The two men had just returned from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where they signed a political document known as the “Sudan Call”.

The document commits signatories “to dismantle the one-party state regime and replace it with a state founded on equal citizenship through daily popular struggle”.

The UN spokesperson said Sudan is required by its international human rights obligations to inform individuals of the grounds for their arrest through a warrant. It needs to guarantee their safety, disclose their whereabouts, grant access to their family members and lawyers, and to provide medical assistance they may require. 

She urged the government to cease the harassment and prosecution of political activists, human rights defenders, journalists and other public commentators.

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