News from Khartoum
Activists file lawsuit against government for violating right to travel
Over the last months, Sudanese authorities have issued a number of decisions banning the travel of opposition figures and activists. Consequently, Sudanese lawyers and activists have filed a lawsuit against the government for the frequent travel ban and the seizure of passports of activists, politicians and opposition.
Last August, civil society activist Ms. Jalila Khamis, was prevented from traveling from Khartoum airport to Cairo, and later that month, the security services prevented Sudanese Congress Party President Omer Al Digair from traveling to Paris.
According to Radio Dabanga, the prominent member of the Umma Party, lawyer Mr. Mohammed Abdullah Al Doma, was arrested at the airport and his passport was confiscated.
The authorities also banned the Secretary General of Umma Party, Ms. Sara Nugdallah, from leaving Sudan in May and last August, she was travelling to Cairo for treatment and her passport was also confiscated.
At a press conference she addressed on the incident, Ms. Nugdallah expressed her support for the people affected by the travel ban, which she described as “violation of the right to freedom of travel.” She noted that her passport had been confiscated repeatedly “up to 70 times.” She said,” passports of these people remained seized for a long time,”
For his part, Mr. Omer Al Digair the president of the Sudanese Congress Party, criticized the approach of the authorities to confiscate passports for long periods of time as well as refraining from providing any explanation for the reasons for the ban, and called for the need to confront constitutional violations in justice system.
The travel ban violates Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which provides:” everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of the state where he legally resides. Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country”.
Defenders of rights of migrants have based their argument on article 12 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which state that human rights are not limited to movement within the borders of a single state, but rather exceed that to movement among different states.
The constitution allows citizens the right to associate in political organizations without derogating their civil rights because of their political affiliations and intellectual leanings.
Source: Dabanga Sudan