Wednesday, December 8, 2021

UN rights body holds urgent session in wake of Sudan coup

GENEVA (NWN) – The top UN human rights official on Friday condemned actions by military leaders in the aftermath of a coup in Sudan, saying at least 13 people were killed and more than 300 injured in excessive use of force by security forces. .

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet also expressed concern about the “many” arrests and disappearances of civil society and protest leaders, journalists and activists.

He made the remarks during an urgent session of the organisation’s top human rights body on Sudan on Friday after a military coup there nearly two weeks ago. Britain, the United States, Germany and Norway are insisting on hiring an expert to monitor the situation.

The Human Rights Council is being debated, while the United Nations still recognizes the ambassador of the deposed Sudanese government as the country’s official representative in Geneva. None of Sudan’s top generals were attending the representative session.

Referring to Sudan’s 30-year rule by former dictator Omar al-Bashir, Bachelet said, “The events following the coup recall a sad page in the country’s history when freedom of expression was suppressed and human rights were violated.” There was widespread repression.”

Last month’s coup, which was strongly condemned by the US and the West, came more than two years after a popular uprising forced the military to oust al-Bashir and his Islamic government in April 2019. This has led to the delicately planned transformation of the country into democratic governance.

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The push for the human rights expert comes amid mounting international pressure on Sudan’s top general, General Abdel-Fattah Burhan, and forces loyal to him to dissolve Sudan’s transitional government and detain other government officials and political leaders on October 25. Is.

“Fundamentally, it is about democracy and respect for human rights,” Simon Manley, the UK’s ambassador to Geneva, said in a statement to the Associated Press. “I hope that fellow council members stand in solidarity with the brave people of Sudan today.”

Four Western countries submitted a draft resolution on Wednesday and the final language was still being worked on. Human Rights Council spokesman Rolando Gómez said there was a provision for a “special coordination” to monitor the situation in Sudan for a year.

The draft also called for an immediate return to a civilian-led transitional government under Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok, who was among those detained in the coup. He is now under house arrest but has been allowed to meet UN and international diplomats as part of mediation efforts.

On Thursday, Sudan’s state news agency reported that Burhan had ordered the release of four government ministers who had been detained. A defense lawyer for the ministers said they were yet to be freed.

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