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UN rights panel urges Sudanese prosecution of war criminals

[JURIST] The UN Human Rights Committee [official website] Friday urged the Sudanese government to "take all appropriate measures" to guarantee that all state agents, including the military and armed militias, discontinue "widespread and systematic" violations of human rights. The recommendations, presented in the panel's concluding observations [DOC text], also call on the Sudanese government to end immunities in Sudanese law that protect rights abusers and to cooperate with the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] to "ensure that all human rights violations brought to its attention are investigated" and prosecuted. The committee also urged Sudan to take steps to ensure that victims of serious human rights violations are guaranteed reparations.

Earlier in July, Sudan defended its handling of alleged abuses [JURIST report] in Darfur [JURIST news archive], saying its judiciary was capable of handling cases of murder, torture, and rape. Sudan has also denied allegations that the government has collaborated with armed militias, and responded to calls from the ICC chief prosecutor for the arrest of Sudanese war crime suspects by saying that the ICC does not have the jurisdiction [JURIST reports] to prosecute alleged war crimes in Darfur because Sudan has not ratified the ICC's Rome Statute [PDF text]. The UN Human Rights Committee, composed of a panel of 18 independent experts to monitor the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights [text], issued the observations at the conclusion of its review [90th Session materials] of the recent human rights records of Zambia, Sudan, the Czech Republic, and Grenada. Reuters has more.

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