Newly appointed UN Independent Expert on Human Rights in Sudan, Mashood Adebayo Baderin, said [press release] on Friday, following his first mission to Sudan, that the country still needs to take further steps to ensure its people have adequate human rights. He recognized some steps taken by the government, but mentioned specifically a need for improvement in freedoms of expression and press. He said there is a need for human rights training for "the judiciary, the Ministry of Justice, the legislature, the police and non-governmental human rights organizations, amongst others," as well as public awareness and empowerment for the people of Sudan. He also stressed a need for the government to "include the promotion of human rights amongst its priority funding considerations." Baderin will present his findings at the 21st session of the UN Human Rights Council in September.
Sudan has a history of human rights issues, and the UN and other human rights groups have continuously called on the country to make improvements. Earlier this month, Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] called on Sudan to abolish capital punishment [JURIST report] and all corporal punishment after a woman was sentenced to death by stoning for committing adultery. Last month, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay visited South Sudan and praised the country's development [JURIST report], but called on the new government to commit to a policy upholding human rights. In February, HRW called on Sudan to prosecute those responsible [JURIST report] for raiding villages and killing thousands of people when it reported that no progress had been made after the government claimed it would investigate.