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Support Special Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council on Sudan

Open letter to Permanent Representatives of Member and Observer States of the United Nations Human Rights Council

Dear Excellencies, dear colleagues,

We are writing to urge you to support a special session of the UN Human Rights Council to address the human rights situation in Sudan, and to create a mechanism, such as a fact-finding mission, to monitor and report on developments in Sudan on an ongoing basis, in compliance with the Council’s mandate to respond promptly to emerging crises and provide early warning of further human rights violations and abuses.

On Monday, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights strongly condemned the military takeover, expressing serious concern that these developments “threaten the Juba Peace Agreement and jeopardize the important progress made towards democracy and respect for human rights.” In a communique issued on Tuesday, October 26th, the African Union Peace and Security Council confirmed the suspension of Sudan from all AU activities “until the effective restoration of the civilian-led Transitional Authority.”

In September, a large group of international, regional and Sudanese NGOs, including Human Rights Watch, issued a public letter highlighting the importance of continuing to support human rights reforms in Sudan and maintaining human rights monitoring and reporting, particularly at this critical time. This week’s developments have further underlined the fragility of Sudan’s transition process, and highlight the urgency of re-establishing ongoing Council scrutiny and engagement to restore respect for human rights and the rule of law.

Human Rights Watch urges all delegations to heed the expressions of concern by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the calls to action by national, regional and international NGOs, and support a Special Session of the UN Human Rights Council to urgently establish an international mechanism with a mandate to monitor, verify and report on the situ­ation in Sudan with a view to preventing further human rights violations and abuses.

We look forward to working with you to establish a mechanism restoring the international monitoring and reporting that is urgently needed. The stakes could not be higher at this moment to ensure the small but important steps towards redress for past harm and establishing a more positive rights framework in Sudan are not lost.

Best regards,

Human Rights Watch 

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