November 22, 2013 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) has admitted the existence of human rights violations in the country including restrictions on freedoms and civil and political rights.
The NCHR’s complaints committee disclosed that it received 83 complaints in 2013 and 42 complaint in 2012 relating to human rights abuses.
The NCHR deputy chairperson, Joseph Khalil, said in press conference on Thursday that most of the complaints involve cases of security and freedoms abuses while some complaints are related to land disputes, pointing that few cases relate to violations committed by the police.
He acknowledged that the NCHR receives foreign funding, saying that several countries financed NCHR’s workshops in Sudan.
The government by the end of last year closed down different civil society and rights groups, accusing it of receiving foreign funds and collaborating with the opposition groups to overthrow the regime.
The NCHR member, Mohamed Ahmed Al-Shayeb, said that they face numerous problems including lack of a specific budget and experienced cadres, adding that they examined all complaints and submitted recommendations to the presidency, parliament, and the minister of justice to take the necessary action.
He pointed that the NCHR carry out executive and policymaking work which is not part of its mandate and acknowledged underperformance, saying that they use personal resources to carry out their duties due to lack of funding.
Last month, the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) agreed to renew the mandate of the independent expert on the situation of human rights in Sudan for a further 12 months.
Earlier this month, a group of 11 international and African organisations called on the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) to order a fact-finding mission to investigate the deaths and detention of hundreds of protesters during recent demonstrations in Sudan.
Protests erupted on September 23 in Sudan’s major towns, following an announcement by the government the previous day that it was lifting subsidies on fuel and other basic commodities, leading to calls for regime change.
At least 200 protesters died, 15 of them children, and more than 800 others have been detained.
Sudanese authorities continue to crackdown hard on national and international media outlets ordering some to shut down.
Sudanese journalists work under tight daily censorship controls exercised by the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS).
The NISS recently intensified its crackdown on press in the country, introducing tough new measures to prevent media outlets from covering recent anti-government protests which erupted following the lifting of subsidies on fuel and other basic commodities.
Several journalists were arrested amid accusations of “disturbing the public” and several daily newspapers were shut down, including Al-Intibabha and Al-Mejhar, while others such as Al-Ayam decided to stop working, saying the current conditions do not allow them to exercise their profession.