Stop the Sudanese government & Militias from using Ammunition & Excessive Force on Peaceful Protesters

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UN Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in the Sudan

Amnesty International Human Rights Action Center

UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression

UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association

UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders

UN Human Rights Committee

UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention

RE: Use of ammunition & Excessive Force on Peaceful Protesters by Sudanese government & Militias

Honorable Commissioners,

We, the undersigned, would like to draw your kind attention to the continuous atrocities and excessive use of force by Sudan government forces and militias upon cracking down on peaceful protests that have erupted in major cities as of Wednesday, December 19,2018.

We urge your excellences to call on the Government of Sudan to respect the people’s rights to freedom of assembly, association and expression as guaranteed in international laws and UN treaties ratified by Sudan, and Sudan’s own National Constitution and demand that the Government of Sudan refrain from using militias, ammunition and excessive force to disperse protests.

The Government of Sudan continues to deny its citizens’ the rights of assembly, expression and the right to protest the government’s political and economic policies. Recently, the government failed to pay the wages and salaries of its civil servants, and added insult to injury by raising the prices of basic goods and fuel, while limiting the amounts that the public can withdraw from their own money.

The Sudanese people took to the streets in many cities including Atbara, Port Sudan, Gadaref, and Alnuhud protesting the economic melt down and the shortage in basic necessities. Some of these protests were met by unprecedented use of force that resulted in loss of lives in many cities.

True to its record in crushing peaceful protests, various chilling videos circulating in social media show government militia personnel intimidating and threatening to kill peaceful demonstrators.

In September 2013 alone, government forces used live ammunition to disperse peaceful protests, killing more than 170 protesters and detaining at least 800 others without charge.  Many of those detained were subjected to torture and abuse in detention. There has been no accountability for the deaths, injuries and various other abuses perpetrated by Sudanese authorities against peaceful protesters.

The National Security Act (NSA) of 2010 bestows a host of immunities to the members of Sudan Armed Forces granting them protection from prosecution in civil courts, irrespective of the crimes those units or individuals may commit. To that end, article 42(2) of the Armed Forces Act of 2007, article 45(1) of the Police Act of 2008, and article 46 of the National Intelligence & Security Service (NISS) guarantee that immunity.

We, the undersigned, urge your excellences to implore the Government of Sudan to respect and uphold the rights of all Sudanese to freedom of expression, association, assembly, and freedom of the press.

We further urge your excellences to demand that the Government of Sudan refrain from the use of militias, live ammunition and excessive use of force against peaceful protesters.