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Rights group says Sudanese police used prohibited tear gas

THE SUDAN HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZATION – CAIRO

December 14th, 2009

CALL ON SUDAN POLICE

Today December 14th, the police forces used violence with internationally prohibited types of tear gas to end a peaceful demonstration by thousands of citizens marching towards the parliament in Omdurman. The demonstrators asked for legal changes on all laws violating the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and the Interim Constitution, especially the laws on security and national intelligence that suppress the right to free expression and peaceful assembly and the other fundamental rights and freedoms.

Many demonstrators were seriously injured with broken limps and carelessly abandoned without medical care by the transgressing forces. In addition, many citizens were suffocated by the poisonous gas the police intensively used in a densely populated residential area along the Mourada Street in Omdurman, which included children schools and a major hospital for pregnant women and new births. The police forces persecuted the demonstrators inside the office space of the Sudan Liberation Movement and Army of the Manawi group. Umma leaders Mariam al-Sadiq al-Mahdi and Sarah Nugd-Allah and the PCP leaders Abd-Allah Deng and Hussain Dosa were arbitrarily arrested with more than 35 demonstrators of whom many suffered injuries.

The police assault on the peaceful demonstration came next to an earlier demonstration this last Thursday in which several political leaders had been arbitrarily arrested and tortured. The police brutality took place regardless of a political agreement lately approved by the NCP and the SPLM to pass democratic laws on the South referendum and other laws.

The Police Forces are described as a disciplinary service force to execute the law and to keep order. The police are required to perform legal duties honestly and without prejudice in accordance with the law and the acceptable national and international standards by Article 148-1 of the interim Constitution.

SHRO-Cairo appreciates the role that the police plays to protect people and the property by the Police Act 1992 and its regulations. Regrettably, however, the Organization believes that the Police have not performed legal duties properly with respect to the ongoing peaceful demonstrations: The police force is not authorized to persecute peaceful assemblies with poisonous gas, arbitrarily arrests, bodily assaults or tortures, let alone the environmental danger of poisoning the atmosphere in whole residential areas on the sides of the Mourada Street. The Police must abide-by the human rights principles enshrined in the Bill of Rights with which both Police Act 1992 and the Law of Criminal Procedure 1991 must comply.

The Police honesty and non-prejudice should take the forces away from aggressive acts against people in any form or any time under any ruling regime. Here, SHRO-Cairo recalls the distinguished role the police played in kindness and mutual respect with Sudanese demonstrators throughout the struggles of people to enjoy full freedoms and human rights.

We call on the Police to comply fully with the Bill of Rights.

SHRO-Cairo asks for the immediate release of all detainees.

We ask the Police to stop suppressing the freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly for good.