Home | Press Releases    Sunday 25 July 2004

Escalated Political, Security, and Judicial Government Failures in DarFur

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SHRO-Cairo
Press Release
July 24, 2004

Escalated Political, Security, and Judicial Government Failures in DarFur

- Urgent Need to Convene the All-Sudanese Democratic Conference to Resolve the Crisis

- The Sudan Government Must Immediately Stop Death Sentences or Amputation of Citizens Accused of Janjaweed Activities by Any Non-Public Prompt Trials

- Government Must Immediately Arrest all Janjaweed Ring Leaders and the Involved Officials in Safe Custody for Law-Abiding High Level Judicial Investigation

- Government Must immediately Remove the Janjaweed Incorporated Militias from the DarFur Police Force

- The UN Human Rights Commission and DarFur Women’s Activists Must Competently Join the Presidential Fact Finding Committees

This week, the Sudan Government put to trial hundreds of citizens accused of the Janjaweed militia membership before a special court in Nyala. Many of these citizens received prompt death sentences or amputations, as publicly announced by the South DarFur Chief Judge.

The judicial sources affirming the trials, however, did not assure compliance of the trials with the due process of justice with respect to the right of the accused to have a fair and public hearing by a competent, independent and impartial tribunal, legal consultation, adequate time and facilities for preparation of defense, cross-examination, and the other guaranteed rights by international human rights law.

The occurrence of these rush trials in the midst of serious national and international concerns about the involvement of senior executive, security, and political leaders of the government in the DarFur Crisis and the Janjaweed attacks against the innocent citizens of DarFur violates the principles of proper trial, and is seriously hurting the ongoing fact finding efforts in the region.

The rushing of the South DarFur Judiciary to sentence citizens accused of the Janjaweed militia crimes against humanity by secretive non-public special courts with death sentences and amputations without proper legal procedure casts reasonable doubt on the unlawful collaboration of the Nyala Judiciary with the political and executive authorities of the central government to frustrate the due process of justice.

The longstanding widely rejected quasi-military summary special courts of the Sudan Government in Nyala and the other cities have continuously abused the due process of law. The South DarFur prompt special trials are meant to preempt the mounting corrective pressure on the government to take up full responsibility of the Crisis with the best procedures possible. These abrupt judicial and security measures further aggravate the situation. They regrettably involve the possibility of counter acts of militia revenge, as well as chaos in the whole region.

The security measures implemented by the Minister of Interior Presidential Representative ’Abd al-Rahim Hussain in DarFur to clothe thousands of the Janjaweed fighters in regular police uniforms comprised a grievous violation of the tranquility of the civilian victims of the Janjaweed militias. The ongoing sentences of death and imputations against hundreds of citizens accused of Janjaweed activities without fair trials, moreover, adds another grievous unlawful, poor handling of the state-incited DarFur Crisis.

The security and the judicial actions of the government in DarFur further affect the presidential fact finding committees, which have been practically crippled by the non- representation of the DarFur women and the other necessary human rights activists to help investigate the Crisis. As such, the committees have not yet obtained enough data on the Crisis despite the vital need to avoid any loss of facts by lapse of time.

With these desperately planned abortive measures, the government’s actions have been hastily endorsed to frustrate the national and international concerns about the Sudan Government’s direct involvement in the army-Janjaweed crimes in DarFur.

SHRO-Cairo reiterates the Sudan Government’s full responsibility for the crimes committed by the military, security, and executive managers of the state, as well as the government-controlled Janjaweed militias of DarFur.

Organization urges the DarFur rebel groups and the Sudan Government to honor all cease-fire agreements, pursue peace negotiations, and include the other Sudanese democratic groups to prompt the political solution of the Crisis.

- The Organization encourages the government to convene the all-Sudanese Conference hand-in-hand with the Democratic Opposition and the civil society groups to resolve the DarFur Crisis as a fundamental part of the ongoing internationally-recognized peace negotiations of the Sudan’s Crisis.

- The Organization asks the South DarFur Judiciary to put an immediate stop on any non-public trial of the citizens accused of Janjaweed crimes in DarFur. The DarFur Judiciary must not abuse the law for any non-judicial aims. Strictly independent from any pressure by the Presidential Representative or any other executive or political authorities, the South DarFur Judiciary is directly responsible for the due process of justice, respect of the law, the rights of accused persons, and the guarantees of fair trials in the region.

- The Sudan Central Government of Khartoum must arrest all ring leaders of the Janjaweed militias in safe custody under strict judicial supervision. The government must equally arrest all executive, military, or security officials involved in the Janjaweed crimes and other atrocities for investigation by a high level judicial committee including the Attorney General Chamber and the Bar Association. This committee must include strong representation of the UN Human Rights Commission (Geneva). The officials accused of unlawful acts must be arrested in safe custody under strict judicial supervision. All accused persons, regardless of any discriminatory criteria, must be subjected to fair trial in accordance with the due process of justice.

- In the executive level, the Sudan Government must immediately remove the Janjaweed elements from the Sudan Police Force in DarFur or elsewhere. Incorporating militias in regular forces is a non-legitimate procedure undertaken by the Minister of Interior to legitimize the unlawful powers of the Janjaweed government- supported outlaws in DarFur. Only regularly trained police must be entrusted with the security tasks of the region.

- The Presidential Fact Finding Committee and the other women’s’ judicial committee on the crimes of rape in DarFur must include fair representation of the women’s human rights activists, especially the women activists affiliated with the victimized females of DarFur. Committees should provide observer status for both national and international human rights groups.

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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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