9 January 2013

Sudan: Nation's Govt Targets Local Civil Society Organizations

press release

During the past few weeks, the Sudanese government had launched an aggressive campaign that targeted various non-governmental centers and civil society organizations; by means of enforced closure, suspension, and/or the expropriation of property/belongings. This was executed without any legal justification and in apparent and explicit violation of the rights and freedoms guaranteed consented by all international charters and conventions related to human rights. These rights and freedoms are also declared in the 2005 Interim National Constitution of the Republic of the Sudan.

This contentious campaign had started off by the suspension, prohibition, and arrests of six staff members working for Arry for Human Rights-an organization that works to document human rights abuses, specifically in Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile-. Four staff workers were detained on December/18/2012, after thorough search of their homes, and threats to their families. The organization's executives were informed that the ban was issued for receiving foreign funding, conspiring against the interest of the state, and tainting its image to the outside world.

Moreover, on December/24/2012 the government of Sudan suspended the activity and works of the Sudanese Studies Centre (SSC) for one year; deprived of any legal grounds or justification for allegedly threatening national security and obtaining foreign funds. Subsequently, SCC's executive director, Mr. Abdallah Abu Al-Reesh was later arrested.

Followed by a decision to revoke the registration of Al Khatim Adlan Center for Enlightenment and Human Development (KACE), and withdraw its name from the public record of all licensed non-profit organizations operating in Sudan. On December/26/2012(KACE) was closed, along the appropriation of its assets, including the personal belongings of staff workers, without display of any prior accusations or charges.

The Sudan Human Rights Network condemns the vicious attacks and harassment by the government of Sudan on civil society organization and non-governmental centers. SHRN also demands the Sudanese government to cease the pursuit of such campaigns immediately upon impartial consideration of all civil liberties; particularly with regard to freedom of opinion and expression, the right to assemble and freedom of association.

On the parallel, the Sudan Human Rights Network expresses great concern about the perpetual undemocraticpractices and the deprivation/abusesof human rights and civil liberties in Sudan; along with the continuous systematic targeting/harassment against activists and their affiliated civil society organizations. Such campaigns and violations undermine the efforts of civil society organizations, suppress personal/civil freedoms, and obstruct processes of development and enlightenment.

The Network demands of the government of Sudan, to commit to guarantee and safeguard human rights and civil liberties, and to assure the safe environment to exercise such freedoms within an adequate level of transparency.

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