March 7, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan’s ministry of foreign affairs has denounced the annual US world report on human rights conditions, religious freedoms and human trafficking, accusing it of citing unknown sources in order to reflect a negative political stance against Sudan.
- US secretary of state John Kerry speaks about a human rights report in Washington on 27 February 2014 (Photo: AP/Jose Luis Magana)
The report, released by the US department of state on 27 February, casts doubts on the results of Sudan’s 2010 general elections and includes allegations of human rights violations committed by the army and the security forces in conflict zones.
It also details the deterioration of prison conditions and detention centres, as well as violations against women’s rights and human trafficking practices in the country.
In statement issued on Thursday, foreign ministry spokesperson Abu Bakr Al-Sideeg said that allegations of worsening conditions in prisons and detention centres, as well as abuse claims by detainees, contradicts with the recent testimony of the independent expert and special rapporteur on the human rights situation in Sudan, Mashood Baderin.
The statement said the report overlooks the formation of a special tribunal to deal with crimes against humanity and human rights abuses in Darfur, noting that it has issued several rulings, including the death penalty, saying this discounts claims the government is covering up violations committed by the security and the army in conflict zones.
It also rejected the report’s questioning of the results of the 2010 general elections, saying the results were recognised by the US government, the Arab League and the African Union (AU).
The statement also questions why the current president of South Sudan, Salva Kiir, and his government, which came to power in the 2010 elections, is considered legitimate, while Sudan’s government is described as incomplete.
It said the US report lacks professionalism and objectivity, adding it cites unknown sources and manipulates facts in order to perpetuate a political position established by Washington against Sudan for more than two decades.
The foreign ministry stressed that the government assumes its moral responsibility in fighting against human trafficking, saying it directs all resources to interrupt convoys of this abhorrent trade which heads towards the Mediterranean Sea.
It also mentioned the Sudan approved the anti-human trafficking code which contains deterring penalties including the capital punishment, saying traders and victims of this crime don’t include Sudanese nationals.
With regard to women rights, the statement said women represent 25% of the MPs, adding that the federal government includes 9 women ministers as well as dozens others at the states level.
The statement said the US record is full of crimes against humanity and human rights abuses, extending from Hiroshima and Nagasaki to Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as violations committed in Guantanamo, Bagram and Abu Ghraib prisons.
It stressed that the US is not qualified to pass judgement, saying all Sudanese people are victims of the unilateral sanctions imposed by Washington, pointing to the death of several Sudanese citizens due to a lack of drugs and aviation incidents resulting from the lack of mechanical parts.
Sudan has been on the US blacklist of states sponsoring terrorism since 1993 over allegations it harbours Islamist militants despite reports of Sudan being a cooperative intelligence partner of Washington on the so-called “war on terror”.
Sudan has also subject to comprehensive economic sanctions since 1997 over terrorism charges, as well as human right abuses. Further sanctions, particularly on weapons, have been imposed since the 2003 outbreak of violence in the troubled western Darfur region.