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Amnesty slams Sudan amid clampdown on rights

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April 2, 2015 (KHARTOUM) – Amnesty International denounced Sudan’s clampdown on media and civil society groups and called on the authorities to investigate human rights violations by the security service ahead of April elections.

During the past three months, Sudanese security service confiscated different newspapers 42 times at different dates, as 21 journalists have been interrogated by the security service. The local authorities, also, shut down three civil society groups.

Also for the first-time the security services confiscated all editions of 14 newspapers from the printers on 16 February without explanation.

“Amnesty International calls upon the Government of Sudan to abide by the bill of rights guaranteed in its constitution and its international and regional commitments to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,” a statement released on Thursday said.

The rights groups further urged Khartoum government to “promptly investigate all allegations of intimidation and harassment of members of the civil society and political opposition and bring to justice those suspected to be responsible”.

Despite the call by all the opposition forces to postpone the elections, the Sudanese government said resolved to hold presidential and parliamentary elections in the country.

Only the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) and its allied political groups participate in the vote. The opposition forces boycott the electoral process, calling to prioritise efforts to end war and achieve constitutional reforms.

Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for East Africa, Michelle Kagari, termed as "deeply disturbing" the restrictive measures implemented by the Sudanese authorities while the country enters elections.

“Human rights violations by NISS, now at unprecedented levels, only serve to quell dissent and criticism of the National Congress Party (NCP) government in the run up to April’s general elections,” said Kagari.

The opposition groups organise a campaign calling on the Sudanese not to participate in the elections.

(ST)

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