Sudan: Khartoum massacre victims and their relatives still waiting for justice one year on
03 June 2020
GENEVA (3 June 2020) – UN experts* said today that accountability and justice for the 3 June 2019 victims of the deadly attack on peaceful protesters in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, are essential for the country to progress to a peaceful democracy.
“We remain concerned that one year after the violent attack on peaceful protestors, the victims and their relatives are still waiting for justice and reparation,” said Nyaletsossi Clément Voule, the UN’s Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association. “This is a test case for Sudan. The transition to a peaceful and democratic society will not be completed without delivering justice and providing effective remedies to the victims of this case, who fought for the revolution.”
The experts acknowledged that the establishment of a national independent investigation committee to investigate allegations of human rights violations on 3 June 2019 and the opening of other investigations for crimes committed in the past are important steps taken by the authorities.
“All those responsible must be held to account without exception and in accordance with due process rules established by international standards,” the experts said.
Aristide Nononsi, the Independent Expert on the Human Rights situation in Sudan, said women were at the forefront of the peaceful protests and were among the first victims of the violence, including human rights violations and sexual violence.
“We urge the national independent committee to address the gravity of gender-based violence that occurred during the crackdown and do the utmost to secure justice and reparations for the victims,” experts said.
Prompted by an economic crisis, the Sudanese staged several months of peaceful protests in 2019, which eventually led to the removal of President Al Bashir after a 30-year reign. On June 3, security forces opened fire on a sit-in, killing more than 100 protesters and wounding dozens.
The experts also said that transitional justice in the peace process is not limited to criminal justice. It must also build social justice by addressing the violations of economic, social and cultural rights that Sudanese people have endured for decades.
“We call on Sudanese authorities to uphold their commitment to set up a comprehensive victim-centred and gender-sensitive transitional justice process aiming to address all past abuses, preventing their recurrence, and establishing an efficient Transitional Justice Commission,” the experts said. Major security sector reforms were also needed to provide more accountability within a framework of democratic civilian control, rule of law and respect of human rights.
The Special Rapporteurs, Independent Experts and Working Groups are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.