Alert: Sudanese authorities arrest at least 6 women human rights defenders

Sudanese authorities are continuing their crackdown on women human rights defenders. WHRDs are being arbitrarily detained. Security Forces are seeking to crush all possible action by WHRDs through using systematic methods to intimidate them and to prevent them from participating in the demonstrations. The scale of violations committed against WHRDs is expanding on a daily basis, especially under the new state of emergency, imposed by the Sudan government in February 22. The Emergency Rule allows police and security forces to commit human rights violations such as raids, censorship, and arbitrary detentions.

WHRD Najlaa al-Shaikh

Authorities released more than 50 WHRDs onMarch 8, following a huge demonstration on March 7 and the detained WHRDs’ open hunger strike. However, Sudan government has re-launched its brutal campaign against WHRDs. On March 12, security forces arrested WHRD Linda Hashem. On 17 March, 2 WHRDs were arrested. On March 20, forces arrested Romaysaa Assem, Noon Zuhair and Najlaa al-Shaikh. Najlaa al-Shaikh was arrested from her workplace. According to several reports from family and relative, Najlaa is in solitary confinement and is being subjected to psychological pressure.

WHRDs are subjected to inhumane and poor detention conditions. The Coalition has been able to document several testimonies from recently released WHRDs. Many of them are suffering from several symptoms resulting from poor prison conditions. Many defenders were subjected to lengthy interrogations, verbal violations, humiliation and abuse.

The Sudan government is violating international and African human rights mechanisms such as Such as The African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights requires states which have ratified it to ensure equal protection of the law (article 3), respect for personal integrity (article 4), respect for human dignity (article 5) and protection from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment and treatment (article 5) for all people. Sudan signed the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (The Maputo Protocol) on the 30th of June 2008 but has not ratified it. State parties to the in Maputo Protocol are committed to combating all forms of discrimination against women through appropriate legislative, institutional and other measures.

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