OHCHR / SUDAN

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21-Dec-2021 00:02:05
The UN human rights office (OHCHR) urged a “prompt, independent and thorough investigation” in Sudan into the allegations of “rape and sexual harassment, as well as the allegations of death and injury of protesters as a result of the unnecessary or disproportionate use of force, in particular use of live ammunition,” according to a spokesperson. OHCHR

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STORY: OHCHR / SUDAN
TRT: 2:05
SOURCE: OHCHR
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: DECEMBER 2021, NEW YORK CITY

SHOTLIST:

1. Wide shot, Palais Wilson exterior
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Elizabeth Throssell, Spokesperson for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“We have received deeply disturbing reports of sexual violence and harassment by security forces during demonstrations in Khartoum on Sunday, 19 December 2021. Our Joint Human Rights Office in Sudan has received allegations that 13 women and girls were victims of rape or gang rape. We have also received allegations of sexual harassment by security forces against women who were trying to flee the area around the Presidential Palace on Sunday evening. Two protester died after being shot, and around 300 others were injured, some due to the use of live ammunition, some hit by tear gas canisters or beaten by security forces, and others who suffered breathing difficulties from tear gas inhalation.”
3. Wide shot, Palais Wilson exterior
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Elizabeth Throssell, Spokesperson for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“We urge a prompt, independent and thorough investigation into the allegations of rape and sexual harassment, as well as the allegations of death and injury of protesters as a result of the unnecessary or disproportionate use of force, in particular use of live ammunition.”5
5. Wide shot, Palais Wilson exterior
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Elizabeth Throssell, Spokesperson for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“We note the acting Attorney-General’s establishment of a committee of senior prosecutors to investigate all human rights violations and other incidents since the military coup of 25 October. We have called on the authorities to make the findings of this investigative committee public, with maximum transparency, with a view to holding to account, including through criminal investigations, those responsible for human rights violations and abuses.”
7. Wide shot, Palais Wilson exterior
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Elizabeth Throssell, Spokesperson for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“Since September, at least 250 civilians have been killed, 197 injured, and over 50,000 displaced by intercommunal violence. There have been serious protection gaps in Darfur, especially following the reduction of state security forces in key areas in Darfur and long delays in implementation of a National Plan for Civilian Protection.”
9. Wide shot, Palais Wilson exterior

STORYLINE:

The UN human rights office (OHCHR) urged a “prompt, independent and thorough investigation” in Sudan into the allegations of “rape and sexual harassment, as well as the allegations of death and injury of protesters as a result of the unnecessary or disproportionate use of force, in particular use of live ammunition,” according to a spokesperson.

In a statement issued today (21 Dec) OHCHR spokesperson Elizabeth Throssell said her Office received “deeply disturbing reports” of sexual violence and harassment by security forces during demonstrations in Khartoum on Sunday, 19 December 2021. She said, “Our Joint Human Rights Office in Sudan has received allegations that 13 women and girls were victims of rape or gang rape. We have also received allegations of sexual harassment by security forces against women who were trying to flee the area around the Presidential Palace on Sunday evening.”

Throssell said two protester died after being shot, and around 300 others were injured, “some due to the use of live ammunition, some hit by tear gas canisters or beaten by security forces, and others who suffered breathing difficulties from tear gas inhalation.”

The 19 December demonstrations, in which tens of thousands of people participated, were organized to mark the third anniversary of the protests that began in December 2018 and eventually resulted in the overthrow of the Government of President Bashir in April 2019. Demonstrators were also protesting against the military coup of 25 October.

The OHCHR spokesperson stressed the need to identify and prosecute the perpetrators. With further protests planned for this weekend and the weeks ahead, She said it was crucial that security forces guarantee and protect the right to peaceful assembly and act with full respect for international laws and standards regulating the use of force.

Throssell said, “We note the acting Attorney-General’s establishment of a committee of senior prosecutors to investigate all human rights violations and other incidents since the military coup of 25 October 2021.” She added that OHCHR had called on the authorities to make the findings of this investigative committee public, “with maximum transparency, with a view to holding to account, including through criminal investigations, those responsible for human rights violations and abuses.”

The OHCHR spokesperson stated that her Office was also deeply concerned at the increase in intercommunal violence in Darfur and South Kordofan. She said, “Since September, at least 250 civilians have been killed, 197 injured, and over 50,000 displaced by intercommunal violence. There have been serious protection gaps in Darfur, especially following the reduction of state security forces in key areas in Darfur and long delays in implementation of a National Plan for Civilian Protection.”

The national authorities have assembled a temporary joint protection force comprising 3,000 forces for deployment later this month. Throssell urged them to ensure that this force receive comprehensive training on human rights and international humanitarian law before deployment. She said it was also essential that those responsible for the human rights violations and abuses committed are held accountable, regardless of their affiliation.
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