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EU Parliament calls on Sudan to release human rights defenders

March 14 - 2018 STRASBOURG
EU Parliament in Strasbourg (File photo: EU)
EU Parliament in Strasbourg (File photo: EU)

A plenary session of the Parliament of the European Union in Strasbourg on Tuesday tabled a resolution demanding that the government of Sudan release all detained human rights defenders, with specific reference to Sakharov Prize laureate Salih Mahmoud Osman*.

The Resolution on Special Subjects (RSP 2018/2631) expresses the EU Parliament’s concern about the ongoing persecution of human rights defenders and civil society in Sudan.

It calls for an immediate and unconditional release of Salih Mahmoud Osman, as well as any other human rights defenders and civil society activists who are being held solely as a result of their legitimate and peaceful work in the defence of human rights.

The resolution “condemns in the strongest possible terms the practice of torture and ill-treatment towards any detained persons, including human rights defenders; Insists that all detainees’ conditions comply with international standards, including the United Nations’ Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment.”

EU Parliament: 'Sudanese authorities must cease targeting all human rights defenders and activists and guarantee in all circumstances that they are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions and harassment.'

The Parliament calls on Sudanese authorities to investigate all allegations of torture and ill-treatment, and bring perpetrators to justice; Emphasises that any purported information collected as a result of torture and ill-treatment must never be admissible as evidence in legal proceedings;

The EU resolution “deplores targeting all human rights defenders and activists in Sudan and calls on the authorities to guarantee in all circumstances that they are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions including judicial harassment;

“Notes the release of human rights defenders Amal Habani, Rawa Gafar Bakhit, Hanan Hassan Khalifa, Mohamed Aldouma, Nahid Jabrallah who had previously been detained.

Sudanese authorities must cease targeting all human rights defenders and activists and guarantee in all circumstances that they are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions and harassment.

“Reiterates that Sudanese authorities must cease targeting all human rights defenders and activists and guarantee in all circumstances that they are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions and harassment.”

EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders

The EU calls on the External Action Service to continue to improve its implementation of the EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders, fully utilising all means at its disposal, such as full use of emergency funds available at the level of EU delegations; Emphasises that EU delegations must prioritise support for those human rights defenders most at risk in their EIDHR local calls for proposals, resulting in effective and targeted support.

The Strasbourg Parliament “requests the EEAS and EU delegations to report back to the Parliament on actions taken to provide protection and support to human rights defenders; calls for united EU and Member State action in support of human rights defenders at risk; underlines its continued commitment to the protection mechanism for human rights defenders at risk; and reiterates that the review and reform of key laws including the 2010 National Security Act, and those regulating media and civil society; bring them in line with international standards upholding freedoms of expression, assembly and association is imperative.

Via the resolution, the Parliament Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Government of Sudan, the African Union, the United Nations Secretary-General, the Co-Presidents of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly and the Pan-African Parliament (PAP).

* The Darfur Bar Association that is providing legal aid to the political detainees considers the detention of its deputy chairman Saleh Mahmoud Osman and other people still being held by the security apparatus a violation of the country’s Interim Constitution and the Political Parties Act.

Read the entire resolution here


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