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Sudan Human Rights Commission head laments ‘violations by organs of the regime’

October 15 - 2018 KHARTOUM
File photo
File photo

Human rights violations by Sudanese security and military forces are creating challenges for the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), the Commission’s head Iman Fathelrahman has acknowledged.

Speaking in an interview with the official Sudan News Agency (SUNA), Fathelrahman said that “the individual violations by some members of the organs of the regime are harmful and are working to defeat the human rights situation…”. She said that “the Sudanese state will be held accountable by its control over its institutions”.

Fathelrahman was reacting to recent comments by the commander of Sudan’s main paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) militia, Lt. Gen. Mohamed Hamdan (aka Hemeti), denying involvement of RSF militiamen in attacks against the civilian population; specifically accusations of RSF militiamen shaving the heads of youths in Khartoum.

Head shaving

Last month, Radio Dabanga reported that RSF paramilitaries were shaving men by force in the districts of El Haj Yousef, El Tawidat, El Karton, and El Radmiyat, as part of “the fight against negative phenomena”.

They were targeting youths, especially those with haircuts like famous soccer players.

Activists condemned the campaign on social media. Some call it “a terrorist attack”, others “a violation of human dignity” pointing to “human rights guaranteed by international charters”.

She stressed that there are some violations from the state institutions of law enforcement, and that the behaviour of some individuals or groups within these institutions and organs are challenges for the commission.


Hamdan’s recent public statements on national TV have courted controversy. In an interview with Sudanese television Channel 24 broadcast on Tuesday evening, the militia commander said that the Governor of North Kordofan, Ahmed Haroun’s place is in jail rather than the state government for “bringing us [the RSF] into disrepute”. The interview was quickly banned and the programme suspended by the security apparatus.

Ironically, the target of Hamdan’s Haroun is subject to an international arrest warrant as he has been indicted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague on 51 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity which he allegedly committed in Darfur.

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