News from Khartoum
Euro-Med monitors rights abuse during recent protests
The Euro-Mediterranean Monitor for Human Rights has denounced the Sudanese Government’s use of excessive violence against and systematic repression of protesters during recent demonstrations, where at least 45 people lost their lives, and called on the government to peacefully deal with demands of demonstrators for the sake of the country’s stability. The Sudanese government put the death toll of the demos at 29 people.
The international rights Monitor, in a press release published on Al Taghyeer website, confirmed the killing of at least 45 people, besides at least two other people in recent protests erupted last Thursday, and also confirmed the killing of the University of Al Razi Faculty of Medicine’s student Mr. Mahgoub Al Taj Mahgoub who was tortured to death by the security apparatus personnel, while student Mr. Abdul Azim Babikir, 22, died of chest gunshot. Eyewitnesses who took part in the funeral of the medical student (Mr. Mahgoub) told the Observatory that security personnel attacked the funeral procession, with some mourners been run over by security vehicles.
The Euro-Med condemned the detention of hundreds of protesters including politicians, activists, jurists, journalists, Op-ed writers, students and civilians over the past week, despite confirmation by the Interior Minister Mr. Ahmed Bilal Osman, that 816 people had been detained in 381 demonstrations in various Sudanese cities, while sources said those detained exceed that number. The Observatory lambasted the statement by the State Minister for Information who alleged the Interpol would prosecute what he characterized as provocateurs and news fabricators.
The Monitor also criticized the security authorities’ revocation of licenses of a number of correspondents such as the correspondents of TV Channels of Al Arabia, Al Jazeera and Turkish News Agency Anadolu, the closure of some press offices because of their coverage of incidents in the country, disruption of social media network and suspension of work of some news websites in a bid to impose media blackout to cover up the reality of what is happening in the country.
For her part, the spokesperson of the Monitor, Ms Sara Pritchett, criticized the security apparatus for crack down on peaceful protesters in Sudanese cities, considering the assault a serious violation of the fundamental principles of human rights, and warned the government that “gagging and repressing journalists through detention is evidence that the government is seeking to cover up violations against protesters for fear of being disclosed to the media”. She held the Sudanese authorities totally responsible for the lives and safety of protesters, and called for the immediate probe into the use of excessive violence against demonstrators, and demanded authorities to allow the reopening of offices of satellite channels they closed over the past days and also free journalists and activists.
Article 39-1 of the Constitution of Sudan 2005 provides: Every citizen shall have an unrestricted right to the freedom of expression, reception and dissemination of information, publication, and access to the press without prejudice to order, safety or public morals as determined by law; and also obligates the government to guarantee freedom of press and other media as determined by law in a democratic society.