Brussels, 8 January 2013 A 4/13
Statement by the spokesperson of EU High Representative Catherine Ashton on the recent closure of civil society organizations in Sudan
The spokesperson of Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the Commission, issued the following statement today:
“The High Representative notes with concern the recent closure of four leading Sudanese civil society organisations, namely the Khatim Adlan Centre, the Sudan Studies Centre, the Arry organisation for human rights and the Hela Help Organisation. The High Representative is also disturbed to hear that the National Human Rights Commission has been prevented from receiving a petition against the closures from a delegation of civil society representatives that were blocked by the security forces when attempting to deliver it. These actions seem contradictory to the recent invitation by the President of Sudan to all political forces and civil society organisations to take part in the process of drafting a new constitution that will strengthen national unity and consensus.
The High Representative calls on the Government of Sudan to reverse its decision to withdraw registration of these organisations, and to promote an environment where independent civil society organisations can operate freely and contribute to an inclusive national dialogue that meets the needs and aspirations of all Sudanese citizens within an open, democratic and peaceful framework.”