Annual Report: Sudan 2011

Report
May 28, 2011

Annual Report: Sudan 2011

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  • In July, the police and the NISS arrested a number of individuals in Kalma camp. At least two were reportedly tortured and remained in incommunicado detention without charge at the end of the year. Following the arrests, six camp residents, one a woman, sought refuge at a UNAMID community policing centre. Although the government reportedly presented UNAMID with arrest warrants for the five men, UNAMID refused to surrender them without guarantees for their safety, including freedom from torture and the death penalty.
  • Four IDPs from Abushok camp in North Darfur who were arrested in August 2009 under the 1997 Emergency and Public Safety Act remained in detention without charge. Thirteen IDPs in total were arrested following the killing of a sheikh in the camp. Seven were released in February and another two in September. While charges against all of them were dropped following early investigations, the detainees were nevertheless transferred to Shalla prison and detained without access to their families or a lawyer. North Darfur has been under a state of emergency since 2006, which gives extraordinary powers to the state governor and other officials to arrest and detain people without charge.
  • On 1 December, a Doha civil society consultation was held at Zalingei University in West Darfur, in the presence of the Qatari mediator and the joint UN-AU chief mediator Djibril Bassolé. Outside the meeting, students calling for accountability for crimes in Darfur clashed with students supporting the NCP. Following the departure of the delegation, the NISS opened fire on the demonstrators. Two men, including one student, were killed and at least nine people were injured.

Armed conflict - south Sudan

The population of south Sudan and the three transitional areas continued to be affected by inter-communal fighting over cattle, land and natural resources, although the scale of the violence decreased over the year. The proliferation of small arms and human rights abuses by various groups, including soldiers of the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), continued to affect communities and humanitarian workers.

Nevertheless, tens of thousands of IDPs and refugees returned to south Sudan from the north and from neighbouring countries, mainly Uganda.

The Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) attacked villages in south Sudan. According to UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, by August, 25,000 people had fled their homes in Western Equatoria out of fear of LRA attacks. The escalation in LRA attacks limited the population's access to fields and crops and increased food insecurity.

Arbitrary detentions, torture and other ill-treatment

A new National Security Act passed in December 2009 came into force in February. The Act maintained the NISS's extensive powers of arrest and detention without judicial oversight for up to four and a half months.

The NISS continued to arrest and detain political activists and human rights defenders, hold them incommunicado, torture and ill-treat them, and prosecute them for the peaceful exercise of their rights to freedom of expression, assembly and association. NISS agents remained immune from prosecution and disciplinary measures for human rights violations.

As a result of these practices, human rights defenders continued to flee the country and to limit their activities when inside Sudan.