© Photo: Abudlaziz Adam/ ISHR

Middle East & North Africa

Sudan: HRC holds special session and mandates an Expert on Sudan

Sudanese human rights defender Abdulaziz Adam addresses the HRC to draw attention to the human right situation in Sudan.

Following calls from civil society, the UN Human Rights Council held a special session to address the implications of the ongoing situation in the Republic of Sudan on 5 November 2021. The Special Session saw States and civil society organisations come together to discuss the human rights situation in Sudan and adopt resolution A/HRC/S-32/L.1

The resolution introduced by the core group (Germany, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States of America) was adopted without a vote as orally revised. It condemns the coup by the Sudanese military against the Civilian Government of Sudan which took place on 25 October 2021 and requests the High Commissioner to designate an Expert on human rights in Sudan to monitor and report on the situation until the democratic transition is restored.

Sudanese human rights defender Abdulaziz Adam* delivered a statement on behalf of ISHR at the special session: 

“We strongly condemn the ongoing violent repression of peaceful demonstrations in Sudan, and the excessive use of force against those protesting the military coup of 25 October, including at least unlawful killings of 12 people and hundreds injured, including as a result of the use of live ammunition to disperse protesters, and beating of protesters by military and security forces. We call on Sudan to put an immediate end to all violations and abuses. 

We call for an immediate end to the deployment of militarised forces to manage peaceful protests. The military and security forces have not been effectively reformed or held accountable for the serious human rights violations committed against protesters in 2019. We call on the military to immediately end its repression of peaceful protests and to listen to the legitimate demands of the Sudanese people for full civilian rule. 

The shutdown of the internet and disruptions to communication services is deeply concerning, they must be immediately restored. We call for the immediate and unconditional release of all those arbitrarily detained including human rights defenders, journalists, lawyers, and students. 

All perpetrators of human rights violations must be held accountable, including military commanders. We urge Sudan to ensure full access to justice for women, ensuring that victims of sexual and gender-based violence receive the protection and support they need to access justice, and ending impunity for military and security forces including for sexual and gender-based violence.

We urge Sudan to immediately reform the military and security forces to eliminate the growing risks of state militarisation and attacks on democratic transformation and fundamental freedoms, and ensure the civilian control of security and military forces reforms and grant civil society access to fully participate in these processes.

Finally, we urge Sudan to ensure that independent civil society can fully and safely participate in all processes, and cooperate fully and in good faith with the UN human rights system.”

Watch the statement here.  

* Abdulaziz Adam is a former participant in ISHR’s Human Rights Defender Advocacy Programme and was conferred with the prestigious Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders in 2019. 


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