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Planned attack on Sudan’s prodemocracy sit-in may constitute crimes against humanity: HRW

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Sudanese protesters sit near army headquarters in the capital Khartoum in April 2019 (AFP Photo)

November 18, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - The bloody raid on the pro-democracy sit-in was deliberate and could amount to crimes against humanity said Human Rights Watch in a report released on Monday morning.

The 59-page report covers the attack of 3 June on the sit-in area outside the army headquarters and the attacks in Khartoum, Khartoum North and Omdurman before and over that date.

"The commission of systematic or widespread intentional unlawful killings of protesters and other inhumane acts in successive dispersals as part of a government policy to attack unarmed persons could constitute crimes against humanity," says the report.

"The report further underlined that the attack was intentional and directed by the Transitional Military Council (TMC) against the main protest site in Khartoum which had become the emblem of the revolution.

"There is circumstantial evidence that the attack on June 3 was planned by the TMC,". reads the report.

The report recalled that the talks over the transition, between TMC and the FFC had been suspended after the killing of protesters by the RSF at one of the barricades on May 14. Also, the military conditioned the resumption of talks to the removal of barricades and clearance of Colombia area near the protest site.

"On June 3 the number of forces deployed in the operation against the sit-in – estimated in the thousands – suggests official operational planning," stressed the report.

The protesters accused the Rapid Support Forces of carrying out the attack which resulted in the death of over a hundred sit-inners.

The military council first denied the responsibility of the attack then they partially confessed it saying the attack was intended against the adjacent area allegedly frequented by drug traffickers and prostitutes.

Also, RSF general commander Mohamed Hamdan Hemetti dismissed his responsibility claimed that his troops had been fooled by Islamists army officers without his knowledge.

Jehanne Henry, associate Africa director at Human Rights Watch called on the transitional government to prove its seriousness and to investigate the brutal attacks against civilians.

"They should start by pursuing justice for the brutal attacks on protesters since last December, ensuring that all investigations are independent and transparent, and conform with international standards," Henry stressed.

The Human Rights Watch estimates that "at least 120 people were killed on June 3 and in following days. Hundreds were injured and dozens more are missing. Witnesses said they saw security forces throwing bodies into the Nile".

The internal group interviewed more than 60 people, including victims of a range of crimes such as sexual violence and witnesses to the abuses. The research was conducted in Sudan and remotely by phone between June 29 and August 11. It also analyzed photographs, videos, and social media posts released by activists during the attack and after.

(ST)

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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 19 November 11:41, by Fathi

    We all know who committed and ordered the crimes to be carried out. The question is who is going to hold them accountable and how are you going to avoid a civil war in the process. If they’re serious, they should investigate the regional role played by autocratic rulers aka self-proclaimed presidents & british-proclaimed royalty, and demand they stop funding these warlord pseudo-dictators.

    repondre message

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