News / Africa

Rights Group Seeks Pressure to End Sudan’s Crackdown on NGOs

James Butty
The U.S.-based Human Rights Watch has called on international donors, diplomats and organizations to pressure the Sudanese government to end its crackdown on civil society organizations.  

Khartoum shut down four rights groups last month and revoked the registration of another.  The government has accused NGOs of having a “political agenda” and serving as mouthpieces of the West. 

Jehanne Henry, a senior researcher in the Africa Division of Human Rights Watch, said the crackdown reflects the government’s fragility and defensiveness toward independent voices of democracy.

“The organizations themselves are cultural groups, promoting diversity and democracy, [and the] history of Sudan.  The Sudan Studies Association is one the groups, and it produces research on Sudanese history and culture. So, the allegations that these groups have political agendas is all very suspicious sounding, and it smacks a political crackdown on independent voices,” she said.

Henry said Sudan needs independent voices at this point in its history, especially since the country lacks a constitution, and has gone through so many changes since its separation from South Sudan, as well as the challenges of wars in Darfur, Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile.

She said both the United Nations and the African Union have the power to tell the Khartoum government to rescind its decisions.

“The United Nations does have the independent experts mandated to follow the human rights situation in Sudan.  So, we would like these independent experts to echo our call to get Sudan to revoke and revise these decisions.  The African Union also has a voice on this,” Henry said.

Butty interview with Henry
Butty interview with Henryi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

Henry also said international donors and diplomats in Khartoum are aware of what is going on, and Human Rights Watch would like them to coordinate and increase pressure on the government to revoke its decisions.

She said, even though Sudan faces many challenges, it still must abide by its own constitution and international human rights laws to which Khartoum is a signatory, including freedom of expression and assembly.

“Certainly, the debate around the constitution has brought up the issue of having a circular system versus an Islamic constitution, and it has also provoked some very anti-Western rhetoric in the media.  But, this is related to what’s going politically inside Sudan’s ruling party, and it’s related to Sudan’s request for a new identity, but it does not empower the government to violate human rights laws or its own constitution,” Henry said.

You May Like

South Korea Divided on Response to North’s Cyber Attack

In past five years, officials in Seoul have accused Pyongyang of hacking into banks, government websites, causing chaos and inflicting millions of dollars in damages More

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Bentiu

Residents have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy, but planning for the future remains uncertain as fear of attacks looms More

2015 Could Be Watershed for Syria Conflict

Republican control of US Senate in January could lead to more aggressive policy against IS militants in Syria - and against regime of Bashar al-Assad More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil Wari
X
Adam Bailes
December 22, 2014 3:45 PM
In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil War

In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Jane Monheit Christmas Special

Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Town of Bentiu

Six months ago, Bentiu was a ghost town. The capital of northern Unity State, near South Sudan’s important oil fields, had changed hands several times in fighting between government forces and rebels. Calm returned in November and since then, residents of Bentiu have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy. Bentiu’s market has reopened there are plans to start school again. But fears of new attacks hang heavy, as Benno Muchler reports from Bentiu.
Video

Video US Business Groups Press for Greater Access to Cuba

President Barack Obama's decision to do all he can to ease restrictions on U.S. trade, travel and financial activities with Cuba has drawn criticism from some conservatives and Republicans. People who bring tourists to the island and farmers who want to sell more food to Cuba, however, think they can do a lot more business with Cuba. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.

All About America

AppleAndroid