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UN rights commissioner stresses impunity, ICC case in Darfur

September 14 - 2015 GENEVA / KHARTOUM
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad El Hussein (UNWatch)
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad El Hussein (UNWatch)

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights expressed his profound concern 'about the impunity enjoyed by perpetrators of serious human rights violations in Sudan, particularly in Darfur, the Blue Nile and South Kordofan', at the start of the Human Rights Council in Geneva today. A solidarity committee for the victims of the September 2013 demonstrations has described an announcement by the parliament's security committee as 'propaganda' to cover up for the council the coming days.

Chairman of the Committee of Solidarity with the victims of the September demonstrations, Siddig Yousif, denied to Radio Dabanga the media reports about the existence of an investigation committee for the bloody protests against the government's decision to lift fuel subsidies, in Khartoum in 2013.

“The court has ruled on only one case of the killing during the incidents in September, in which the accused was acquitted,” Yousif said.

“The government released a report stating that not security forces, but unknown persons opened fire on the demonstrators.”

“The government wants to find a way out from the interrogation of the Human Rights Council of the United Nations in Geneva [on its investigations into the September 2013 incidents],” he explained. He quoted the announcement by the parliament on Sunday, including a report that unknown persons shot demonstrators, and not security forces.

“The government initially sought to settle the cases by payments of compensation to the families of the victims. When it did not find a response, it then came out with this report today [Sunday] saying that not the government forces, but unknown persons opened fire on the demonstrators.”

These allegations are incorrect, Yousif said. “If they are so, the government should be held accountable for protecting its citizens.”

Khartoum put death figures of these protests at 80 while international and national human rights groups claim that at least 200 people were killed.

Assistance to International Criminal Court

The 30th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) from Monday to 2 October in Geneva, Switzerland, opened with a statement from UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad El Hussein. El Hussein, who is in office for one year, stated he is “profoundly concerned about the impunity enjoyed by perpetrators of serious human rights violations in Sudan, particularly in Darfur, the Blue Nile and South Kordofan.

“I urge the international community's support and assistance to the International Criminal Court. The people of Sudan deserve justice and redress no less than those of other countries.”

The situation in Sudan will be discussed with reference to the report of the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in the country, Aristide Nononsi. In May, Nononsi visited Abu Shouk camp for the displaced in North Darfur, and Otash and Dereig camps in South Darfur. He urged the Sudanese government and the international community to create and maintain a secure environment for the displaced in Darfur.

The inter-governmental council addresses and recommends about situations on human rights violations around the globe and is made up of 47 UN member states.


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