News from Khartoum
National Human Rights Commission set up new fact-finding committee
The National Human Rights Commission said it has been closely following up the developments caused as a result of the protests in some Sudanese cities. It has also been receiving reports and complaints and is undertaking field visits, conducting close contact with all security apparatuses to follow up and monitor events. In a press statement, the Commission added it views with concern and sadness the serious events that accompanied recent demonstrations in Omdurman on 9 January. The Commission expressed sincere condolences to the families of the deceased who lost their lives due to firing of bullets in recent demonstrations and wished speedy recovery for those wounded. “We view with profound regret the use of live bullets against unarmed citizens and we reject the killing of civilians because safeguard lives is a right guaranteed in all religions and constitutions,” the statement went on to say. “We are extremely concerned over use of teargas inside Omdurman hospital which caused harm to patients and relatives as well as health practitioners putting their lives at risk, and the chasing of protesters inside the hospital which left citizens panic-stricken” the statement added. The statement stressed the need for the security authorities to consider the sanctity of houses, internal neighborhoods, mosques, churches and hospitals because he who enters any of these facilities must be safe. “Intrusion into such places to flush out demonstrators is unacceptable because the right of demonstrators is also guaranteed in the constitution”. The statement called on the security authorities to follow proper legal channels if they have to enter such facilities and houses and expressed concern over the phenomenon of masked security men which could open the door wide for violations, impersonation and contravention of law. The Commission lashed out against detention of parliament member Prof. Nawal Khidir (Ms (who enjoys parliamentary immunity, describing the incident as flagrant violation of law. It underlined the need for the conduct of urgent investigation and bringing those responsible to book. “We call for investigation and reprisals for the lives lost, we call on the Minister of Justice who is also the head of the fact-finding committee, the governor of Khartoum State and the attorney general to speed up investigations and release their findings for justice,” the statement said. “We underscore the need to find urgent solutions for the economic problems to ease hard living conditions to ensure dignified life for citizens, to preserve their lives, safeguard their dignity and enhance security”. The National Human Rights Commission revealed the setting up of an investigation committee to identify those responsible for the incidents for justice and restitution. It called on victims of these events to submit their complaints through the Commission and urged all parties to exercise self restraint. Human rights are inherent rights for all human beings in which all people are equal, thus it is a humane value that must be respected. Impeding respect for human rights would lead to serious harm to humanity and their dignity. Freedom of expression and peaceful assembly is facing increasing and multiple violations which could lead to grave consequences and complications. Respecting the right of the people to peaceful expression of their grievances and their right to peacefully protest against what they see as harm to their interests caused by government policies would steer the country out of crises and put it on the right track.