Human Rights chief calls for Sudan to allow peaceful protests

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Navi Pillay, UN Human Rights chief

Sudanese authorities are being urged to exercise restraint ahead of mass protests planned for Friday.

The call comes from UN Human Rights High Commissioner Navi Pillay, who wants the government to ensure the demonstrations can proceed peacefully.

Dozens of people, including human rights defenders, journalists, students and political opponents, have been arrested since protests began on 17 June in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum.

Charles Appel reports.

Ms. Pillay called on Sudan's government to respect the fundamental human rights of assembly and freedom of expression.

She pointed out that security forces had resorted to violent measures and mass arrests during the two weeks since the protests began.

The UN Human Rights chief said "tear gas, rubber bullets, live ammunition and other heavy-handed suppression will not resolve the frustrations and grievances of the people regarding shortcomings in their enjoyment of economic, social, civil and political rights."

She also urged protestors not to resort to violence or to damage property during the demonstrations.

Charles Appel, United Nations.

Duration:  41″

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