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Sudan rights commission admits existence of human rights violations

Sudan's National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) admitted on Thursday during a press conference the existence of human rights violations in the country including restrictions on freedoms and civil and political rights. The NCHR's complaints committee disclosed [ST report] that it received a total of 125 complaints from 2012 and 2013 relating to human rights abuses. NCHR deputy chairperson Joseph Khalil said that most of the complaints involve cases of security and freedoms abuses while some complaints are related to land disputes, pointing that few cases relate to violations committed by the police. All complaints have been examined and recommendations have been submitted to the presidency, parliament, and the minister of justice to take any necessary action. The NCHR is constrained and plagued by underperformance due to lack of funding and a limited mandate.

Last month, the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) [official website] agreed to renew the mandate [text] of the independent expert on the situation of human rights in Sudan for an additional 12 months. There has been significant attention on the human rights situation in Sudan. In October 2012 a UN rights office urged [JURIST report] Sudan to investigate an ambush on a UN convoy. That same office asked [JURIST report] Sudan to investigate violence against peaceful protesters in the region. In January 2012 a presidential decree was issued appointing the 15 Commissioners of the NHRC. The article 9 of the 2009 Human Rights National Commission Act [text, PDF] provides that the Commission cooperates with the United Nations Organizations, its specialized agencies, regional Institutional Human Rights Centres, NGOs and other institutions in the field of human rights. The Sudanese parliament passed the Act to establish a NHRC in Sudan in December 2008 and on May 2009, the President of the Republic of Sudan signed the NHRC Act into law.

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