Concern over Sudan arrests

2014-12-12 18:32
Sudanese President Omar Bashir . (AFP)

Sudanese President Omar Bashir . (AFP)

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Geneva - The UN human rights office expressed deep concern on Friday about the arrests of opposition figures and rights activists in Sudan.

"We're deeply concerned about a pattern of detentions and prosecutions in Sudan in recent months that appear aimed at silencing political opposition and criticism of the policies of the ruling party," spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani told reporters in Geneva.

She also condemned the "worrying trend" of muzzling critics of the regime by prosecuting journalists, bloggers and even printers.

Sudanese security forces arrested politician Farouk Abu Issa and civil activist Amin Makki Madani last week after they joined an alliance aimed at uniting opposition to President Omar al-Bashir's regime.

A third man, Fara Ibrahim Mohammad Alagar, was also believed to have been arrested after attending talks about the alliance in Addis Ababa.

The document called for a transitional government in Sudan, where Bashir has ruled since seizing power in an Islamist-backed coup in 1989.

"We urge the government to release the three men in the absence of valid legal charges, or to promptly charge them with a recognisable offence and to bring them before a judge with guarantees of their fair trial rights," Shamdasani said.

The spokesperson highlighted the detentions of "scores" of political and youth activists and prominent human rights defenders in the past six months in Sudan.

And she said there was a "worrying trend emerging towards the prosecution of owners and employees of private printing firms, apparently aimed at restricting the printing and distribution of independent material deemed critical of the ruling party."

"We urge the government to cease the harassment and prosecution of political activists, human rights defenders and other public commentators such as journalists and bloggers for peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression and opinion," she said.

Read more on:    sudan  |  media  |  east africa

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