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European MP, Sudanese lawmakers discuss human rights situation

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Barbara Lochbihler (EU Photo)

February 21, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - A member of the European Parliament (EP), Barbara Lochbihler, Tuesday held a meeting with the Sudanese MPs in Khartoum and discussed human rights situation and gender issues in the country.

Lochbihler who is a German politician and foreign and human rights policy spokesperson for the Greens/European Free Alliance, posted a tweet on 18 February announcing her departure to Sudan saying "In the centre of my talks, the ever-closer cooperation between the EU and Khartoum in refugee".

After a meeting with the visiting EP lawmaker, a Sudanese MP and a member of the Legislation and Justice Committee at the National Assembly, Mohamed Elhassan al-Amin, told reporters that Lochbihler discussed Sudan’s reservations on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), Sudanese who joined the Islamic State Organisation (Daesh).

He further said the meeting also discussed the arrest of Mudawi Ibrahim, a Sudanese human rights defender arrested since last December, and a number of activists from the Centre for Training and Human Development (Tracks) who are in jail since May 2016.

Commenting on the issues discussed during the meeting, al-Amin said the Sudanese MPs defended Sudan’s rejection of the CEDAW convention, adding "We told her we as an Islamic state we have reservations on some provisions".

Sudan, the Vatican, Iran, Somalia, and Tonga are not signatories to CEDAW.

On the case of Tracks group, he said the arrested members are facing criminal charges because they implemented "hidden agenda and committed a violation of Sudanese law".

The decision to ban Tracks "was based on declared evidence and its staff has an open trial. What had been committed was a crime, and the defendants have the right to appeal," he further said.

Regarding the detention of Ibrahim, the legislator said they have no information about his detention and they are not the appropriate authority to ask about his case.

However, on the same day, the Sudan Safari, a pro- National Congress Party website, reported that the rights defender was involved in the elaboration of a report released last year by Amnesty International on the use of chemical weapons in Darfur region.

European MPs have shown an interest in the issues of peace, human rights and democratic reforms in Sudan during the past years. In July 2016, they received for the second time a delegation from the Sudanese opposition groups to discuss ongoing efforts to end the war in Sudan.

(ST)

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