Sudanese government urged to stop harassing political activists

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OHCHR spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani. Photo: UN Multimedia

The Government of Sudan has been urged to stop the harassment and persecution of political activists, human rights defenders and other public commentators such as journalists and bloggers.

The call has come from the UN Human Rights Office following what it describes as a pattern of detentions in recent months that was aimed at silencing criticism of the ruling party.

It says a recent high-profile case involved the arrest and detention of Dr Makki Medani, former UN Human Rights Office Regional Representative for the Arab Region, and Dr Farouk Abu Issa, the leader of the opposition National Consensus Forum.

Ravina Shamdasani, a spokesperson for the UN Human Rights Office, says the two prominent public figures were reportedly arrested in Khartoum on 6 December by the Sudanese security services.

"The two men had just returned fr om Addis Ababa where they had signed the 'Sudan Call', a political document that commits signatories to dismantle 'the one-party state regime and replace it with a state founded on equal citizenship through daily popular struggle'. A third man, Dr Farah Ibrahim Mohamed Alagar, who was also at the Addis meeting but did not sign the declaration, was believed to have been arrested on 7 December." (23")

Ms Shamdasani said there were serious concerns about the health and safety of Dr Medani, 76, and Dr Issa, 78 who are diabetic and require daily medication.

Stephanie Castro, United Nations

Duration: 1’30″

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