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UK calls on Sudan to lift restrictions on freedom of expression

The British Government expressed concern over the severe restrictions imposed on civil liberties in Sudan, especially those related to freedom of expression, assembly, information, religion and belief. At the same time, the United Kingdom expressed appreciation for the readiness of the Sudanese Government to cooperate with the independent expert to complete the action plan to end the recruitment and use of children in armed conflicts, and senior appointments in the National Human Rights Commission, and urged the Sudanese Government to ensure that the Commission works effectively.

The British Government said in a statement released by its Human Rights Council mission on Sudan in Geneva that a number of previous recommendations of the independent expert have not yet been implemented, and we urge the government to take immediate action on them. As stated in the report, restrictions on freedom of expression, assembly, information, religion or belief remain. The statement expressed the deep concern of the United Kingdom of the number of arbitrary arrests and prolonged detention and treatment of detainees and the confiscation of newspapers and press freedoms.

The mission said in its statement: We urge the government to carry out reforms, in particular the amendment of the press and publication law, and the abolition of emergency laws in Darfur.

The statement called on the Sudanese government to address allegations of violations of human rights and violations in areas of conflict and to ensure full and independent investigation.

The statement also called on the Sudanese Government to expedite the ratification of the Convention against Torture and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).

The mission statement welcomed the views of the independent expert on any of his recommendations and called for their implementation as an immediate priority. Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides for freedom of opinion and expression. Article 39 (1) of the Sudanese Constitution states that: 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.

Source: Gov UK