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UN rights expert urges Sudan to free all political detainees to enable an inclusive national dialogue

GENEVA (15 August 2014) – The UN Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in the Sudan, Mashood Adebayo Baderin, has called for the immediate release of the deputy leader of the Sudan National Umma Party, Meriam Al-Mahdi, the leader of the Sudanese Congress Party, Ibrahim Al-Sheikh, and all other political detainees.

The human rights expert’s appeal comes after Ms. Al-Mahdi’s arrest and detention on Monday 11 August, and Mr. Al-Sheikh’s continued detention since 8 June 2014. “The arrest and detention of Ms. Al-Mahdi and Mr. Al-Sheikh are not conducive to realizing an inclusive national dialogue proposed by the Government of the Sudan,” he said. “The authorities should show their good faith in taking the national dialogue forward positively.”

“It is imperative to ensure the guarantee of fundamental civil liberties and freedoms of all political leaders to encourage confidence in the proposed national dialogue,” Mr. Baderin stressed. “A fully inclusive national dialogue is the only reasonable and positive way forward for addressing the constitutional and political challenges in the Sudan.”

“I urge the Government and its security agents to desist from any further arrest and detention of political leaders and to fully ensure the right to liberty and freedom of individuals in the Sudan, in order to facilitate the necessary political confidence and conducive atmosphere for taking the national dialogue forward,” Mr. Baderin concluded.

The mandate of the Independent Expert on the human rights situation in Sudan was created by the UN Human Rights Council on 18 June 2009. In September 2013, the mandate was renewed for a period of one year. Mashood Adebayo Baderin, is Professor of Law at SOAS, University of London. As Independent Expert, he serves in his individual capacity, independently from any government or organization.

Check the latest reports by the Independent Expert: http://ap.ohchr.org/documents/dpage_e.aspx?m=95&m=172

UN Human Rights, Country Page – Sudan: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/AfricaRegion/Pages/SDIndex.aspx

For inquiries and media requests, please contact Beatrice Walker (+ 41 22 928 9389) / bwalker@ohchr.org) or write to iesudan@ohchr.org

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)

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