Sudan accepted the vast majority of the recommendations following its UPR in 2011 but has failed to implement most of them. Darfur, Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states remain engulfed in armed conflicts in which countless abuses have been committed against civilians, including deliberate attacks on towns and villages; killings; sexual violence against women and girls; and unlawful destruction of civilian property.

The fighting in all three conflict zones has forced hundreds of thousands of civilians to flee their homes.  Sudan continues to severely limit the access of the AU/UN peacekeeping mission to many locations in Darfur, and restricts humanitarian aid access into Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile.

HRC33: Item 6, UPR adoption of Sudan - Leila Swan

Leila Swan's statement for Human Rights Watch at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland on September 21, 2016.

The rights to freedom of association and assembly are severely restricted, as Sudanese security forces repeatedly used excessive and lethal force against peaceful protesters, such as during the September 2013 anti-austerity protests, when more than 170 civilians were shot dead on the streets of Khartoum and other towns. During the April 2015 election period, the government continued its crackdown on the media, civil society groups, and opposition parties through arrests and arbitrary detentions.

A number of repressive laws including the National Security Act of 2010 contravene human rights norms. The National Intelligence and Security Service has sweeping powers of arrest and detention, and routinely tortures and otherwise ill-treats detainees.

Judicial authorities continue to apply Sharia law penalties such as flogging that violate international prohibitions on cruel, inhuman, or degrading punishment.

The government has made no tangible progress in providing accountability for crimes committed in Darfur since 2003, in the Two Areas since 2011, the killing of peaceful protesters, ill-treatment and torture of detainees, or other serious abuses. Sudan’s security forces including national security officials are shielded from prosecution for abuses by a patchwork of immunities.

The Sudanese government’s widespread human rights violations and failure to investigate and prosecute those responsible justify specific scrutiny by the Human Rights Council over the Sudan situation.

We have called for the extension of the special procedure mandate on Sudan with appointment of a Special Rapporteur, and for the creation of OHCHR inquiry missions, with expertise in sexual violence, to investigate human rights violations in Darfur, Southern Kordodan and Blue Nile.