Photo by Marwan Ali/AP
Sudan Coup update: killing and continued arbitrary and incommunicado detention of peaceful protestors and obstruction of media coverage of protests
(25 November 2021) The African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS) has continued to monitor the continued crackdown on pro-democracy protests including killing of civilians and other human rights violations across Sudan since 25 October 2021.
In this report, ACJPS gives an update on various incidents resulting in serious violations of human rights of civilians that have continued to occur since our last update on the Sudan coup. The period covered is 25 October 2021 to 23 November 2021. Internet connectivity has been restored after weeks of disruption.
ACJPS has received reliable information that Sudanese authorities have released of 101 political detainees, including the political and media advisers of the Sudanese Prime Minister, and 4 minors. Detainees were released from different prisons and detention centers across the county. Eight detainees were released after they contracted the corona virus. Authorities in Nyala and Central Darfur released all political detainees in their custody on 22 November.
ACJPS welcomes the release of detainees, however expresses deep concern for the continued arrest of peaceful protesters. Joint forces of SAF, RSF, Military Intelligence and Police have continued to target individuals with arrests and incommunicado detention based on their participation or suspected involvement in the protests. In Central Darfur and Khartoum, peaceful protesters have been detained under the Emergency Decree. Three peaceful protesters were imprisoned without charge in Omdurman Women’s prison. In Khartoum, a journalist was blind folded, taken to unknown location and  threatened verbally against participating in anti coup events.  Similar tactics were used during crackdowns on the 2018-2019 revolution.  The well-documented use by security agencies of torture and other forms of ill-treatment against detainees, particularly whilst held in unknown locations, raises safety concerns.
Sudanese authorities have continued to use excessive force including firing of live ammunition to disperse peaceful protests around Sudan resulting in deaths and injuries of Sudanese citizens including minors. Both live and rubber bullets fired targeted the upper parts of the bodies of protesters. ACJPS received reliable information of the involvement of un unidentified groups of individuals in plain uniforms and using Toyota pickup cars without number plates who have targeted protestors with force along side the Sudanese Armed Force (SAF), Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and the police force.
ACJPS has documented the torture and ill treatment of detainees by security agencies. Detainees were beaten with horse pipes, iron bars and sticks, boxed with hands, pushed to the ground and forcefully shaving off one’s hair. Shaving off the hair of detainees using the same blade without sterilization raise serious health safety concerns as it imposes a high risk of transmission of blood borne diseases. In Kotsi, White Nile State, detainees were detained in poor facilities, denied food and only provided with water after 13 hours.
Detainees are being prosecuted and charged under Articles 69 (disturbance of public peace) and 77 (public nuisance) of Sudanese Criminal Code 1991 for participating in protests. In some cases, detention has occurred under article 5 of the emergency decree. The Emergency legal framework permits preventive arrest and detention based on vague grounds without time limits to the detention or judicial oversight. Criminal charges often lack legitimacy and unduly restricted several human rights. In El obeid, North Kordofan, 14 peaceful protesters were sentenced to one month suspended imprisonment after they were arrested during protests and found guilty of violating articles 69 (disturbance of public peace) and 77 (public nuisance) of Sudanese Criminal Code 1991.
Authorities are restricting freedom of expression. The General Intelligence Services (formerly the National Intelligence Security Services) have continued with their practice of summoning journalist for interrogation. Several journalist were arrested for covering the anti coup protests. Just like in al Bashir era, authorities have shut down a radio station and blocked two others from broadcasting in Khartoum without giving any reasons.
ACJPS calls for:
An independent and effective investigation into the circumstance of the killing and injuring of peaceful protesters. Such an investigation should be thorough and impartial with the view of finding and holding the perpetrators accountable.
Further investigations into the torture and ill-treatment of other detainees
Immediate and unconditional release of all detainees and guarantee their physical safety and wellbeing including granting access to their lawyers, family members and medical services. Put in place measures to treat and protect detainees from COVID-19.
End the use of excessive and unnecessary force including during the dispersal of peaceful protests.
Guarantees for the rights to peaceful assembly, free expression, liberty and security of persons and prohibition on torture and other ill-treatment.
End the state of emergency and restore the constitutional order
To read the full report Click Here
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