GENEVA (28 June 2012) – UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on Thursday called on the Sudanese authorities to ensure that demonstrations planned for Friday are allowed to proceed peacefully, without security forces resorting to violent measures and mass arrests as they have over the past two weeks.
“Dozens of individuals, including human rights defenders, journalists, students and political opponents, have been arrested since the protests began in Khartoum on June 17,” Pillay said.
“I urge the Government to immediately and unconditionally release those who have been detained for merely exercising their rights to freedom of assembly and expression. Reports of ill treatment in detention are very worrying and must be investigated promptly,” she added.
Some of those who were arrested during the demonstrations were released reportedly after being made to sign an undertaking that they would not participate in any further “riots.” There are also reports that injured protestors have on occasion been removed from hospitals by the authorities and detained.
“Tear gas, rubber bullets, live ammunition and other heavy-handed suppression will not resolve the frustrations and grievances of the people regarding shortcomings in their enjoyment of economic, social, civil and political rights,” Pillay said. “Genuine dialogue with Government critics is far more effective than arbitrary detention and violence if the Government wishes to create a stable and successful society.”
Pillay called for Government restraint ahead of mass protests planned for Friday and stressed the Government’s obligation under international human rights law to respect the fundamental human rights of freedom of assembly and freedom of expression. She also urged protestors to ensure, on their part, that no violence or damage to property takes place during the demonstrations.
OHCHR – Country Page: Sudan: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/AfricaRegion/Pages/SDIndex.aspx
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