Human rights situation in Sudan remains precarious, says UN Expert

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Sudanese refugees

The human rights situation in Sudan remains precarious, with citizens being denied the full enjoyment of basic civil and political rights, according to a United Nations Human rights expert.

Mashood Baderin the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in the Sudan says the curtailment of the activities of civil society organizations, press censorship, arbitrary arrest, detention and the limitation on freedom of religion in the Sudan are all human rights violations that remain deeply disturbing.

In a report to the UN Human Rights Council, Mr Baderin said although the government was making positive steps in adopting relevant policies towards improving the human rights situation in the country, the effective implementation and practical realization of those policies on the ground is slow.

Mr Baderin said the security situation in the conflict-affected regions of Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile has remained precarious, and impunity for human rights violations in these circumstances is a recurring problem.

"April 2013, the Government announced that all political prisoners would be released. Some detained political figures were subsequently released but it is not clear whether all political detainees have indeed been released. A month later, in May 2013 the Government announced the end of press censorship. However, several newspapers still remain closed. In my report I urge the Government to fulfil its pledge of releasing all political prisoners still in detention and make this public. Most of the challenges listed above are a consequence of the operations of the National Security Service (NSS) under the National Security Act. I have stressed, in my report, the obligation and responsibility of both the Government and the rebel forces to protect human rights, even during armed conflict, and the need to allow unrestricted humanitarian access to civilians affected by such conflict. I have stressed the need to bring an end to the armed conflicts in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile State as these conflicts are a major factor for serious human rights violations in those parts of the Sudan."

He said nearly 300,000 civilians were displaced between January and April 2013 in the Darfur region and urged the government to fulfil its duty to protect civilians in Darfur and enhance the security situation in the region.

Patrick Maigua, United Nations Radio, Geneva.

Duration 2.18″

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