«SUDAN EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Sudan is a republic transitioning, after the secession of South Sudan in July, toward a new constitution from a power-sharing ...»
Sudan is a republic transitioning, after the secession of South Sudan in July, toward
a new constitution from a power-sharing arrangement established by the 2005
Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). The National Congress Party controls
the government, with power concentrated in the hands of authoritarian President
Omar Hassan al-Bashir and his inner circle. In April 2010 the country held its first
national, multiparty elections in 24 years. The elections, which several opposition parties boycotted, did not meet international standards. Observers reported restriction of civil liberties, intimidation, threats of violence, lack of transparency in vote tabulation, and other problems. President Bashir was reelected, and his political party won 323 of 450 seats in the National Assembly. There were instances in which elements of the security forces acted independently of civilian control, especially in the Darfur Region and the Three Areas.
From January 9 to 15, citizens of South Sudanese origin voted in a referendum on the secession of South Sudan from Sudan. Ninety-eight percent voted for secession. International and national observers described the referendum process as consistent with international standards, peaceful, and orderly. The Republic of South Sudan formally gained its independence in July. Although required by the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, a simultaneous referendum on the status of Abyei was not held, and popular consultations in Southern Kordofan were indefinitely postponed. Blue Nile consultations were concluded, but the recommendations were not implemented by year’s end. Conflict continued in Darfur, and conflict occurred in the three border areas of Abyei, Southern Kordofan, and Blue Nile (the Three Areas). Abyei’s final sovereignty status was not resolved, and the area was under joint administration by both Sudan and South Sudan.
The main human rights abuses during the year included the following: government forces and government-aligned groups committed extrajudicial and other unlawful killings; security forces committed torture, beatings, rape, and other cruel and inhumane treatment or punishment; and prison and detention center conditions were harsh and life threatening.
Other major abuses included arbitrary arrest and arbitrary, incommunicado, and prolonged pretrial detention; executive interference with the judiciary and denial of due process; obstruction of humanitarian assistance; restriction of freedoms of Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2011 United States Department of State • Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor 2 SUDAN speech, press, assembly, association, religion, and movement; harassment of internally displaced persons; restrictions on privacy; harassment and closure of human rights organizations; violence and discrimination against women, including female genital mutilation; child abuse, including sexual violence and recruitment of child soldiers; trafficking in persons; violence against ethnic minorities; denial of workers’ rights; and forced and child labor.
Except in rare cases, the government took no steps to prosecute or punish officials in the security services and elsewhere in the government who committed abuses.
Security force impunity remained a serious problem.
Rebels in Darfur and the Three Areas also committed abuses during the year.
Section 1. Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including Freedom from:
a. Arbitrary or Unlawful Deprivation of Life The government and its agents committed arbitrary and unlawful killings.
Government forces, government-aligned militias, rebels, and interethnic fighting killed civilians in connection with the conflicts in Darfur and the Three Areas (see section 1.g.).
Security forces killed demonstrators. For example, on March 17, police opened fire on students protesting at the University of El Fasher in North Darfur, killing two, and dispersed others with tear gas. The students were protesting the government ban on all campus political activity.
On June 17, National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) agents abducted and reportedly killed a Darfuri University of Khartoum student one day after he delivered a speech about the situation in Darfur. On June 18, his body was discovered with signs of severe torture. NISS authorities claimed he had been electrocuted at the bakery where he worked; witnesses, however, stated that NISS authorities had captured and tortured him.
In February 2010 NISS agents arrested University of Khartoum student Mohamed Moussa Abdallah Bahr el Din. He was found dead the next day; his body showed signs of torture. At year’s end there were no new developments in the case.
Authorities did not prosecute any police officers for the May 2010 killing of 17 and injuring of an estimated 200 during protests over a North Darfur Ponzi scam.
As of year’s end, there were no new developments.
b. Disappearance There were reports of politically and ethnically motivated disappearances during the year in nonconflict areas.
In December armed elements in Khartoum, allegedly members of the South Sudanese Democratic Militia/Athor, conducted a series of raids against and kidnappings of at least 15 people of South Sudanese origin. Some were kidnapped for ransom, and others were reportedly pressed into the service of anti-South Sudanese government militias.
The whereabouts of an unknown number of Zaghawa Darfuris detained in Khartoum following the Justice and Equality Movement’s (JEM) attack on Omdurman in 2008 remained unknown.
The government, as well as government-backed militias, were responsible for the disappearance of civilians during the year (see section 1.g.) in conflict areas.
Gunmen in Darfur abducted humanitarian workers and African Union--United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) personnel; this included criminal kidnappings for ransom and politically motivated kidnappings; some cases mixed both motives (see section 1.g.).
c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment orPunishment
The interim national constitution prohibits such practices; however, government security forces continued to torture, beat, and harass suspected political opponents and others. In Darfur and other areas of conflict, government forces, rebel groups, and tribal factions committed torture and abuse (see section 1.g.).
In accordance with Sharia (Islamic law), the Criminal Act provides for physical punishments, including flogging, amputation, stoning, and crucifixion--the public display of a body after execution. In practice such physical punishment other than flogging was not frequently used. Traditional customary law commonly was
applied to convicted defendants. Courts routinely imposed flogging, especially for production of alcohol.
Government security forces beat and tortured persons in detention, including members of the political opposition, civil society activists, and journalists. These persons were often subsequently released without charge.
For example, some of those arrested in the late January and early February antigovernment protests were subjected to torture and other forms of mistreatment while in detention. Safia Isaq, a recently graduated student allegedly involved in organizing protests through the Girifna movement on Facebook, was arrested by NISS on a separate occasion. Three security force members allegedly gang-raped her during detention (see section 1.d.).
Public order laws, in force in Khartoum State only, prohibit indecent dress, which is punishable by a maximum of 40 lashes, a fine, or both. Authorities applied these laws more frequently against women than men. They were applied to both Muslims and non-Muslims.
In December 2010 security forces arrested more than 44 persons, mostly women, demonstrating in reaction to a video that showed two police officers lashing a woman. Authorities later released the demonstrators on bail but charged them with public nuisance and disturbing the peace. As of year’s end, there were no new developments.
Police and NISS officers forcibly dispersed protesters, which resulted in serious injuries and deaths (see sections 1.a. and 2.b.).
Security forces and armed nonstate actors raped women, including in connection with the conflicts in Darfur and the Three Areas (see section 1.g.).
Prison and Detention Center Conditions Prison conditions throughout the country remained harsh, overcrowded, and life threatening. Health care often was below standard. Prisoners sometimes relied on family or friends for food. Officials continued to deny visits to prisoners arbitrarily.
The government mistreated some persons in custody. Security forces held some political and nonpolitical detainees incommunicado; beat them; deprived them of
food, water, and toilets; and forced them to sleep on cold floors. Prisoners died from lack of health care and poor prison conditions. Generally, food, water, and sanitation were provided for prisoners, although the quality of all three was basic.
Families of prisoners usually were allowed to supplement the meals of prisoners with food from the outside.
Most prisoners did not have access to beds; in general prisoners were provided with blankets in the winter. Ventilation and lighting conditions differed between prisons, and law enforcement figures reported that overcrowding was a problem.
There were reports of negligent deaths in prisons and pretrial detention centers, but comprehensive figures were not readily available.
On December 8 and 9, prisoners in El Fasher’s Shala Prison rioted in protest of scheduled executions of Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM) and Justice and Equality Movement detainees. One prisoner was killed and 10 injured before the rioting ended. The prisoners from LJM, a movement that had signed a peace agreement with the government, were subsequently moved to Kober Prison in Khartoum.
The Ministry of the Interior reported there were 20,000 total prisoners, with 2,427 awaiting trial and 17,573 already sentenced.
Men and women were not held together. Incarcerated women reportedly received better quality food than men. In Khartoum juveniles were not held in adult prisons or jails but sometimes were held with adults elsewhere in the country.
Political prisoners were held in special sections of prisons. The main prison in Khartoum, Kober Prison, contained separate sections for political prisoners, those convicted of financial crimes, and an unknown number of JEM detainees.
Prisoners were allowed to take part in religious observance. There were locations in prisons for Islamic prayer but no dedicated areas for Christian observance.
Christian priests were sometimes allowed to hold services in prisons, although access was not regular.
Authorities permitted prisoners, but not all detainees, to submit complaints to judicial authorities without censorship and to request investigation of credible allegations of inhumane conditions, which authorities investigated and
documented. However, these rights were not always granted to pretrial detainees, political prisoners, and those in the custody of police or security forces.
The government allowed some restricted visits to prisons by human rights observers, although it continued to deny unrestricted access. The International Committee of the Red Cross did not have access to government prisons during the year. The Ministry of Justice occasionally granted UNAMID access to government prisons in the Darfur area during the year.
Prison officials in Darfur participated in UN Development Program-sponsored capacity-building training sessions during the year.
Rebel groups in Darfur periodically detained people they kidnapped in isolated locations, but there were no reports of prisons run by local warlords, paramilitary groups, or rebel forces.
d. Arbitrary Arrest or Detention The interim national constitution prohibits arbitrary arrest and detention without charge; however, the government continued to arrest and detain persons arbitrarily, often under the National Security Act. Throughout the country arbitrary arrests and detention were common, including of UN employees.
For example, in January NISS agents arrested Hassan al-Turabi, head of the opposition Popular Congress Party, and nine other party members for calling on the government to carry out democratic reforms. All 10 were released in May without charge.
In January more than 100 persons, among them journalists, opposition members, and students, were arrested during protests inspired by events in Egypt and Tunisia. According to the UN’s independent expert, most were released quickly after their arrests and without charges. However, more than 30 were held for an extended period after the protests and reportedly suffered abuse at the hands of authorities. Most were released by late May.
In Darfur at least 29 Darfuris were arrested during the year and remained in arbitrary detention. This number does not include 46 Darfuris arrested between 2008-10 who continued in detention. On July 12, the government released 25 Darfuri political prisoners after it publicly stated it planned to release all political prisoners.
In August the wali of South Darfur granted amnesty to five sheikhs from Kalma Camp who had taken shelter in a UNAMID Community Policing Center inside the camp the prior year following a series of violent clashes within the camp. The five sheikhs were accused of killing supporters of the Doha peace process and faced death penalty charges. The wali also announced the release of 72 prisoners and state pardons for additional prisoners.
Role of the Police and Security Apparatus