Protect the People of Sudan
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To the Honourable Governor General Of Australia ,
the Honourable Prime Minster and Members of the Parliament assembled,
To the Honourable President and Members of the Senate in Parliament assembled and to the To the Honourable leader of the opposition.
The petition of the undersigned draws to the attention of both Houses:
The current regime in Sudan assumed power on the 30th of June 1989 through a military coup that toppled a democratically elected government. Since then, an influential political faction of the Sudanese Muslim Brotherhood movement succeeded in establishing a totalitarian, militaristic and theocratic governing system which has no room for fundamental human rights.
Through their 30 years’ tenure, the regime has committed many crimes against humanity that were well documented and used as grounds for indictment of President Omar Al-Bashir by the International Criminal Court (ICC).
More than 300,000 people were killed in Darfur; many people in Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains regions were killed, tortured and discriminated against; while millions were displaced and forced out of the country. In September 2013, the people of the Sudan took out to the streets demanding an end to the brutal and repressive regime. However, peaceful protesters were met with the use of firearm. More than 200 peaceful protestors were killed as a result. Although documented, the Sudanese government did not investigate the killings and the perpetrators continue to work for them.
Since December 19th, 2018, Sudan has been witnessing the largest wave of protests against the economic policies and allegations of human rights violations by the government. According to Amnesty International, there have been more than 300 protests in 15 out of Sudan’s 18 states since the protests began. The government has responded to the protests with excessive, and sometimes lethal force - using live ammunition, rubber bullets, tear gas, and attacking the injured inside hospitals. At least 40 people have been killed, dozens injured, and at least 1,000 arrested since the protests began.
Between 19 and 20 December 2018, the government cut off access to social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp and continues to reject entry of international reporters to Sudan. Historically, this has been the government’s tactic to limit reporting on violence and killings as they continue to escalate the use of force.
Despite the critical situation the International Community has been largely weak, while EU resolution and the Troika statement (issued in January by the UK, the US and Norway) were strong, statements need to be backed up by pressure on the regime to exercise restraint, release detainees and address the protestors´ concerns.
The Sudanese Government has a history and experience in genocide and the possibility of escalation is real. Henceforth, we request your urgent and timely response to the Sudanese regime’s gross human rights violations.
We therefore ask both Houses to:
1. Review the diplomatic representation between Australia and Sudan.
2. Conduct an urgent fact-finding exercise through the Sudanese Ambassador to Australia about human casualties and arbitrary detentions and conclude a strong message to the Sudanese regime.
3. Draft and vote on a bill addressing the Sudanese regime and its members who were in charge while human rights violations against peaceful protestors occurred and deny them entry to Australia.
4. We beseech the government to reinforce its commitment to the values of freedom of expression and publicly support the right of the Sudanese people’s to peacefully demand their rights.
5. We expect an active role for the Australian government in bringing the ICC indicted Omar Elbasheer to justice together with all co-perpetrators; that could be achieved through an active role for the Australian representative to UN Security Council.
6. Support the provision of medical treatment of peaceful protesters who were injured in December 2018 -2019 protests in Sudan through Humanitarian assistance.
7. We urge the Australian Government to improve the chance for a peaceful transition of power by stepping up their engagement with civil society and the opposition in Sudan.
8. We request both houses to review the Community Sponsorship Program, so that refugees from Sudan who are threatened and endangered by the mal practices of the Sudanese regime could be resettled in Australia.
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