Sudanese security prevents activists from handing memo to national rights body

By IAfrica
In Sudan
Aug 18th, 2014
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August 17, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – Sudanese security forces Sunday prevented activists and opponents from handing a memorandum against human rights and public freedoms violations in Sudan to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Sunday.

Protesters including families of political detainees, youth of the opposition umbrella of the National Consensus Forces (NCF) took their placards and memo to the NHRC premises in Khartoum Two where they were met with a heavy police presence around the building.

They activists chanted slogans calling to release the head of the Sudanese Congress Party Ibrahim al-Sheikh, the deputy leader of the National Umma Party (NUP), Meriam al-Mahdi and a detained journalist Hassan Ishaq .

The security forces barred the activists from entering into the headquarters of the national rights body to hand their memo. The letter enumerates cases of detained activists and opponents and violations of the rights to freedom of association, expression, and peaceful assembly in the country.

Also, officials from the independent human rights organ failed to persuade the security forces to allow the protesters to deliver their message.

Following the crackdown of rights and research centres in December 2012, Sudanese security had already prevented protesters from handing a memo to the rights commission.

At the time, the NHRC issued a statement condemning the move and described it as “a flagrant violation of the Interim Constitution of 2005 and the National Human Rights Commission Act of 2009.” It further said the ban represents “an attack on the integrity of the Commission and its immunity”.

The committee for solidarity with political detainees organised a press conference following the protest at the headquarters of the opposition Haq party to condemn the ban of their peaceful protest.

The deputy secretary-general of the Congress Party Malik Abu al-Hassan told reporters that they were prevented by the security agents who ordered them to evacuate the area and “refused to listen to two NHRC’s members Mohamed al-Fatih and Mohamed Ahmed al-Shaieb who demanded to allow us to deliver our memo”.

Abu al-Hassan further read a the text of the memo which denounces “the terrible regression of human rights in Sudan” particularly the freedom of expression. The memo also expressed their concern about the conditions of political detainees, stressing that al-Sheikh’s heath has deteriorated sharply.

Also al-Sheikh’s wife, Amani Malik, said they were allowed visit him and found him in bad conditions, adding that he is held in solitary confinement.

The leader of the Congress Party is detained since two months in Al-Foula prison in West Kordofan. He had been transferred to Khartoum for medical reasons and was returned by the security forces there.

Also spoke at the press conference, a daughter of the NUP leader, Rabah al-Mahdi. She denounced the detention of her sister and deputy chairman, Meriam al-Mahdi, after her return from a meeting with rebel groups in Paris.

(ST)


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