Geneva Council condemns the killings and wounding of peaceful protesters during demonstrations calling for democratic civilian rule in Sudan


GENEVA – The Geneva Council for Rights and Liberties condemns the continued excessive use of force to suppress peaceful demonstrations calling for democratic rule in Sudan. Sudanese security forces killed eight protesters and wounded hundreds of others in less than 72 hours.

In the latest crackdown, the Sudanese security forces killed three protesters in Omdurman on the evening of Sunday, January 2, and wounded dozens, after they used force to disperse protesters on their way to the presidential palace in Khartoum. Thousands demonstrated in Khartoum and other cities as part of the so-called “Million of Martyrs” to demand civilian rule and condemn the killing of demonstrators during last week’s protests.

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok announced his resignation after his attempts to get out of the current political crisis had failed. On the evening of Thursday, December 30, 2021, the Sudanese security forces killed five protesters and wounded about 300 while trying to crush demonstrations that took place in different parts of the country calling for the return of democratic rule to the country. In a statement, the Sudanese police confirmed the killing of 5 protesters and the injury of 298 others and 53 police officers during Thursday’s demonstrations.

While the eyewitnesses confirmed that the security forces fired bullets and tear gas canisters to break up peaceful gatherings, the police statement talked about  “the participation of intruders and those with purpose among the demonstrators tended to sabotage and attack the forces with a clear and organized tactic.

Khartoum and a number of the neighboring cities witnessed large demonstrations organized by the “Professionals Association” and the “resistance committees” to denounce the political agreement signed between Al-Burhan and Hamdok, and to demand the return of democratic civilian rule.

 Sudanese security forces stormed the office of Al-Arabiya and Al-Hadath channels in Khartoum, confiscating the equipment and detained its two correspondents, Maha Al-Talb and Sally Othman, before releasing them hours later.

According to the channel, a group of security officers detained the two journalists and their crews in the Al Sharq office, about an hour and a half after they prevented colleague Sally from completing the live broadcast” to cover the demonstrations.

On Friday, December 31, 2021, the Sudanese security forces stormed the “East Nile” and “Khartoum Teaching” hospitals by force of arms, to inquire about the injured and arrest them for their participation in Thursday’s protests, according to what was reported by the Doctors Committee in Sudan.

The committee said that the security forces fired tear gas inside the emergency department, which led to cases of suffocation among patients and medical staff.

The authorities had anticipated the demonstrations by closing most of the bridges and the main streets leading to the General Command of the Army and the Presidential Palace, as well as cutting off the Internet and the telephone network.

Protests are continuing in the country in rejection of what is described as the “military coup” last October 25 and the agreement of last November 21 between the  Army Commander Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan and Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok.

The human rights situation in the country has witnessed a significant deterioration amid repression, arbitrary arrest and suppression of media and public liberties in recent weeks, and the use of force to suppress demonstrations, which led to a large number of victims. The death toll from a police crackdown on the latest protests has risen to 52, in addition to hundreds of wounded, according to the Central Committee of Doctors, which supports the protesters.

Condemning the repression of peaceful demonstrations in Sudan, the Geneva Council calls for the opening of an immediate, independent and transparent investigation into the killings and repression, and to bring to justice those responsible, including those giving orders and directions. It also urges the international community to take more firm measures to ensure that the ruling authorities in Sudan adhere to human rights rules and charters, ensure the protection of freedoms in the country, and support the country’s return to democratic civilian rule.

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