Last updateDim, 25 Jan 2015 6pm

New York: Human rights expert tasks Sudanese govt. on 2013 protests report

New York, US - Mr. Mashood Adebayo Baderin, the UN Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Sudan, on Friday urged the Sudanese government to release its report on the 2013 oil subsidy protests, which he said, resulted in killings, injuries, arrests and detentions and destruction of property.

In a statement issued after his eight-day mission to Sudan, Mr. Baderin expressed 'deep concern' that the Sudanese authorities have not yet issued their reports on the demonstrations.

He stated: 'I regret to note that five months after these incidents, the committees set up by the government have not yet issued their reports or findings on the incidents.

'The international community expects a thorough investigation of the human rights violations that occurred during the September demonstrations,' he stressed.

'I have highlighted the international concerns about this and urged the government to accelerate the release of the reports' the human rights expert added.

The statement noted that during his official visit to Sudan from 11 to 19 February, Mr. Baderin held discussions with the government about the general human rights situation in the country, following up on the challenges raised in his latest report to the UN Human Rights Council, which in his view still remain an area of concern.

While in Sudan, he also met with government officials, civil society actors, political opposition leaders, humanitarian organisations and UN agencies in the capital city of Khartoum, Kadugli in South Kordofan, El-Fasher in North Darfur, El-Daein in East Darfur, and Zalingei in Central Darfur.

The discussions focused on the curtailment of civil society organisations’ activities, press censorship, arbitrary arrests and detentions, freedom of religion, the 2010 National Security Act, women and children’s rights, humanitarian access, economic, social and cultural rights, as well as the protection of civilians in the conflict areas.

The expert also said: 'In my last report, I emphasised the need for the government to focus on addressing these human rights challenges by taking concrete measures and encouraged continued cooperation of relevant donor countries and international institutions'.

Mr. Baderin noted that the authorities had expressed their commitment to improve the practical realization of human rights in Sudan in those areas.

However, he said that in meetings he held in Khartoum with leaders of opposition political parties, they emphasised the need for a 'transparent, inclusive and democratic political and constitutional process that will serve as a strong and lasting foundation for the promotion and protection of human rights in the Sudan'.

He also warned that 'tribal conflicts and conflicts between government forces and armed movements continue to be a major source of human rights violations in South Kordofan, as well as in the Darfur states visited, particularly in the form of civilian displacements'.

The expert reiterated his urgent call on the government of Sudan, the armed movements and the international community to bring an end to these conflicts that lead to human rights violations, and resort to dialogue in settling the armed confrontation.

'I urge and encourage the Government to continue to strengthen its effort to improve the situation of human rights in the country to encourage the possibility of attracting the necessary technical assistance and capacity building required as is necessary,' he stressed.

Mr. Baderin will present his findings and recommendations in a comprehensive report to the UN Human Rights Council in September.

Pana 22/02/2014