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Sudan: Support for Human Rights Protection Must Not Be Based on Falsehoods
Amnesty International
26 September 2011

Amnesty International welcomes the decision of the African Group, working with the USA and other interested delegations, to seek the renewal of the mandate of the Independent Expert on Sudan at the current (18th) session of the UN Human Rights Council (the Council). The Independent Expert serves a crucial role in providing a comprehensive overview of the human rights situation in Sudan and in encouraging improvement in respecting human rights in Sudan.
 
However, Amnesty International regrets that the draft resolution on Technical assistance to the Sudan in the field of human rights, fails to acknowledge the severity of persistent and ongoing human rights violations in Sudan and in that regard is wholly inadequate.
 
While acknowledging the significant political developments, including the successful holding of the referendum and subsequent independence of South Sudan on 9 July 2011, the Council must also condemn the human rights violations and abuses that continue to characterize the situation in Sudan and do everything it can to end them and prevent their recurrence.
 
The draft resolution fails to adequately reflect the gross violations of international human rights and humanitarian law taking place in Southern Kordofan, where conflict has been ongoing since June 2011. Indiscriminate aerial bombardments, destruction and looting of civilian property and allegations of extra-judicial killings, and arbitrary arrests have resulted in over 200,000 people displaced. Since 1 September, conflict has also broken out in neighbouring Blue Nile state.
 
Contrary to Sudan’s assertions that “there are no restrictions for humanitarian access there [in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile],” Amnesty International has documented numerous instances since June 2011, of humanitarian access repeatedly being denied or severely restricted in the region.
 
The Council must demand that the government of Sudan provide unfettered access to humanitarian organizations in all affected areas, in order to provide emergency humanitarian assistance to the population. It must remain seized of the situation throughout Sudan while giving particular attention to these regions, including by requesting the Independent Expert to present a report on the human rights and humanitarian situation in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile to the Council’s next session in March 2012 (…)

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