Oral statement delivered by the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and the African Center for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS)
OMCT and ACJPS would like to welcome the legal and policy reforms carried out by the transitional authorities of Sudan, mainly the prohibition of female genital mutilation, the abolition and apostasy crime and the reform of the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS), accused of multiple human rights violations, including torture.
Despite these efforts, important legal reforms still need to be carried out to meet the international standards concerning the criminalisation and prohibition of torture, including the ratification of the UN Convention against Torture and its domestication in national laws.
There have been unjustified delays in the accountability process against formal regime members, feeding the long-standing impunity culture, including the handover of Omar El Bashir and all the members of his regime to the International Criminal Court. Our organizations are worried that the military officials in the transitional government would delay these judicial obligations.
The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the urgent necessity to reform the penitentiary system in Sudan. Before the pandemic, detention conditions throughout the country were already harsh and prisons overcrowded. Despite the release of 4,633 prisoners, tens have been contaminated, putting their health and life at risk.
We therefore call on the Human Rights Council to:
- Ensure that a fact-finding mission is rapidly mandated to investigate human rights violations that have occurred since 2018;
- Recommend that judicial proceedings are carried out, including against all military officers responsible for human rights violations and that all those found liable are sentenced for their crimes;
- To recommend that all victims of torture and ill-treatment have access to justice, reparation and rehabilitation.
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