Widespread human rights violations by the government in the Sudan and armed groups are a daily occurrence. These offenses include attacks on civilian and humanitarian groups. Violence against women, especially rape is widespread, particularly in Darfur and refugee camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs).
Human rights defenders, as well as the political opposition and civilians throughout Sudan are repressed by the government and many are subjected to forms of ill-treatment and torture. Since the conflict began, nearly 480,000 people have been killed and nearly 2.8 million have been displaced.
International Criminal Court
The Sudanese government and government-backed Janjawid militia have systematically committed human rights violations including looting and the destruction of property, rape, torture and murder. While the International Criminal Court has issued arrest warrants for the perpetrators for crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide, the offenses continue and the government continues to restrict humanitarian aid. These restrictions are a violation of international humanitarian law.
In 2009, the ICC issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al Bashir on seven counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes. This was the first time an arrest warrant was issued for a sitting head of state. In addition to President al Bashir, warrants were also issued for the Sudanese Minister of State for the Interior Ahmad Harun and Ali Kushayb, the leader of the Janjawid militia. All remain at large. Today, the Sudanese governments’ acts of genocide and state terrorism have spread to the Blue Nile region.
National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS)
There have been numerous documented instances by organizations such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Genocide Watch of the blatant human rights abuses committed by the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) including arbitrary arrests and detention, torture and other forms of ill-treatment. Media is controlled and journalists are regularly arrested and detained. There have been reports of journalists being tortured and subjected to ill-treatment. Censorship in Sudan prevents journalists from publishing any articles on human rights violations. Since 2010, the violations against civil and political rights have increased.
Women's Right in Sudan
Women are defenseless against arbitrary arrest for "indecent or immoral behavior or dress" which is determined by the Public Order Police Officers. Women may receive 40 lashes for wearing knee length skirts or trousers according to article 152 of the Sudanese Criminal Act of 1991. There have been reports that judges have extended the punishment to 50 lashes.
Featured Image: Courtesy of UNAMID - Al Jazeera