News / Africa

UN: Sudan, Malawi Violate Civil, Political Rights

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay arrives for the 21st Special Session of the Human Rights Council on the human rights situation in the Palestinian Territories at the United Nations Office in Geneva, July 23, 2014.
U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay arrives for the 21st Special Session of the Human Rights Council on the human rights situation in the Palestinian Territories at the United Nations Office in Geneva, July 23, 2014.
Lisa Schlein

U.N. human rights experts on Thursday accused Sudan and Malawi of failing to protect civil and political rights.

The two countries are among six, including Chile, Georgia, Ireland and Japan, that recently came under investigation of the U.N. Human Rights Committee, a group that monitors implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The 18 independent experts appointed by the committee say they have engaged in a constructive dialogue with Sudan, but that the country has many laws and practices that go against its obligations under the International Covenant guaranteeing its citizens civil and political rights.  

Committee member Gerald Neuman says the government justifies this by saying its interpretation of religion takes precedence over its obligations under the treaty. Neuman says the committee is particularly concerned about discrimination and violence against women in conflict areas, where many rapes are reported.

The independent experts also expressed concern about indiscriminant use of the death penalty, the practice of torture and ill treatment of prisoners, as well as the system of secret detention centers, which are used to extract confessions.

Citing Sudan’s numerous conflicts as a source of the country's many human rights problems, they have asked Sudan to return in three years to report on its implementation of the committee’s recommendations.

The experts also announced that Malawi has for the first time since it becoming party to the treaty in 1993 submitted a report to the committee for examination. While the committee is pleased with Malawi's action, that has not blunted its criticism of the country’s human rights record.

Chairman Nigel Rodley says the committee is concerned by extra-judicial killings in Malawi, saying the judicial response toward police who use lethal force is inadequate and must be strengthened. He says the government must do much more to investigate and prosecute perpetrators of torture and compensate victims.

Rodley says child abuse is rampant and Malawi’s laws must be amended to properly tackle this problem. The committee was also critical of the practice of forced and child marriages, harmful traditional practices, such as female genital mutilation, domestic violence and the criminalization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex relations.

It has asked Malawi to report on the implementation of its recommendations in 2018, when it is due to provide the committee its next periodic report.

You May Like

Mood Tense Ahead of Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, 'No' voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve, 'Yes' vote not worth the risk More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Mayamiko from: Malawi
July 26, 2014 2:07 AM
This story is a lie. There is no female genital mutilation in Malawi. And how can anyone speak of Malawi and Sudan in the same sentencce? The contexts in the two countries are just different!!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid