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US concerned by arrest of political and rights activists in Sudan

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October 1, 2014 (WASHINGTON) – The United States Tuesday condemned the recent wave of arrests of political and rights activists in the country and stressed the need to release freedoms before the national dialogue process.

The National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) conducted during the last week of September a series of arrests targeting political and youth activists in a bid to prevent commemoration of the first anniversary of September 2013 protests where nearly 200 people were killed by the government security apparatus.

“The United States expresses deep concern regarding reports that Sudanese security forces arrested dozens of political activists and civil society leaders in the lead-up to the anniversary of the September 2013 demonstrations,”. Said State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki on Tuesday.

Psaki further joined calls by the independent expert on the situation of human rights in the Sudan Mashood Baderin and rights groups to establish an independent body to investigate the human rights violations including the killing of protesters during the September 2013 protests.

She underlined the need to create a conducive environment in the country and to implement a confidence building measures to promote the national dialogue and the participation of all political parties in this internal process.

“We urge Sudanese authorities to respect universal human rights, including freedom of assembly and freedom from arbitrary arrest or detention,” Psaki further said.

In a report on the situation of human rights in the Sudan, Baderin told the UN Human Rights Council on 24 September that the Sudanese authorities continue to detain political opponents, rights and youth activists. He also cited the censorship on the press and harassment of civil society groups as well as violation of freedom of religion.

The independent expert also drew attention to the continuing negative impact of the armed conflicts on human rights in Darfur region, South Kordofan and Blue Nile states. Further he mentioned the large-scale displacement of civilians in these region saying the security situation remains precarious.

(ST)

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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.


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