Serious human rights violations in Sudan
Disinformation and impunity (Press Release)
According to the Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) in Göttingen, Sudan's ruling military council is using systematic disinformation to avoid international protests against the brutality of the militia groups and the regular army. Thus, foreign journalists were invited to inspect damages that were allegedly caused by protesters. However, when BBC journalists questioned independent witnesses, they were told that it was militiamen who are loyal to the regime who had ransacked the building of the Ministry of Health.
Today, Sudan's army stated that "several soldiers" were arrested for assaulting civilians. "Sudan's army is far from respecting the rule of law – and reports like this should be treated with great caution," explained Ulrich Delius, the STP's director. "These symbolic gestures or pawn sacrifices are intended to obscure the culture of impunity that has prevailed in Sudan for decades. Soldiers who are guilty of killing civilians will most probably not have to fear effective prosecution," Delius emphasized. As far as the STP is aware, no member of the infamous Rapid Support Forces (RSF) has yet been arrested.
"Instead, the army has blocked all Internet access. Due to the comprehensive information blockage, it is hardly possible to investigate such violent attacks," Delius explained. Open communication channels would be necessary to obtain further information about another massacre committed by the RSF militia in the village of Deleig in central Darfur last weekend. "Apart from that, we are deeply concerned that more than 70 women and men who were arrested in connection with public protests were later raped in state custody," the human rights activist stated. In recent years, there have been several reports about the RSF committing sexual violence against the civilian population of Sudan. "These crimes against humanity have to be punished," Delius demanded.
Since Monday of last week, at least 117 people got killed in violent crackdowns on roadblocks and sit-ins by peaceful protesters. Four people died on Sunday alone when militiamen and members of the army broke up a general strike. At least 730 people were injured and 650 people were arrested.
As far as the STP is informed, all cases of systematic sexual violence, the burning of villages, and the violent deaths of more than 400,000 people in Darfur since 2013 have so far gone unpunished.
Header Image: M. Saleh via Wikimedia