Sudan: Urged by UN to Adopt Clear Definition of Torture and Put an End to Practice of Arbitrary Detention

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The Human Rights Committee, the treaty body monitoring the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), held its 111th session in July 2014. On this occasion, the Committee reviewed Sudan's fourth periodic report and issued its concluding observations.

The Committee members welcomed the various steps undertook by the authorities towards a better promotion and protection of human rights, in particular the establishment of Sudan's National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in 2012 and the adoption of a National Action Plan for the promotion and protection of human rights for the period 2013-2023. However, they raised concerns about the lack of effective protection of human rights in this country still driven by conflicts.

Recalling its 2007 concluding observations, of which very few were implemented by the Sudanese government, the Committee called for a swift reform of Sudan's criminal law, which grants immunity for any human rights violation committed on duty by police, military and national security agents.

In the same vein, the Committee emphasized the need to better combat the practice of torture and ill-treatment through the adoption of a clear definition of torture, in accordance with international standards, as well as the need to thoroughly investigate reported abuses and to bring their perpetrators to justice. Sudan should also put an end to the practice of arbitrary detention and stop trying civilians in front of military courts, stressed the Committee members in their observations.

Alkarama will continue documenting human rights violation in Sudan and recommends the authorities to enhance the capacities and mandate of its NHRC as well as to seek its accreditation before the United Nations International Coordinating Committee of NHRIs.

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