Sudanese women call for a UN Human Rights’ Council resolution to investigate rape crimes against female protesters
WHRDMENA’s position on SUDAN
July 2, 2019
- The Transitional Military Council in Sudan resorted to rape, gang rape and several forms of violence and sexual violence against female protesters when its forces and those under its command dispersed the general command sit-in in Khartoum on June 3; dealing a blow to peaceful demonstrations across the country.
- Reports and data that local non-governmental parties in Sudan published provided general and detailed frameworks fueling the belief that rape and gang rape against women and female protesters after the dispersion of the general command sit-in were not “individual incidents”. They rather constituted targeted and planned behavior and practice, proving political responsibility for these crimes.
- This is not the first time that military and security institutions, their representatives or orderlies or those who took orders from those institutions’ military or political chiefs use rape against women as a weapon to attack a whole ethnic group. Darfur as of 2004 stands witness to the fact.
- The military council’s constraints on telecommunications, mainly through cutting off the internet repeatedly until this day, feed the assumption that the scale of violence and sexual crimes against female protesters and women in general increased after the dispersion of the sit-in.
- The atrocity of these crimes is elevating concerns, amid the failure, absence or lack of independent international observers or UN bodies monitoring and providing independent data about the current situation.
- No judicial, legal or political party has ever punished or investigated transparently, openly and decently any officials, be they political or military, for their responsibility or implication in any part of the crimes against humanity, including gang rape and the dire sexual violence in Darfur.
- Nothing indicates that the judicial authorities in Sudan are independent and technically competent to hold accountable the parties involved in the sexual violence crimes against female protesters and women.
- Given the context of current political efforts to reach consensus and agreement between the military council and its political adversaries, no agreement can nullify or delete the repercussions of the committed crimes during and after the dispersion of the general command sit-in, mainly the dire sexual violence, rape and gang rape against female protesters and women in Sudan.
- Given the context of the role that African countries are playing to support and sponsor the Sudanese negotiations to rebuild and form the government, these countries must be sensitive to the issues related to the crimes against humanity and the criminal responsibility that has an international aspect for these crimes. These countries should not espouse any political behavior that would tolerate such crimes and their perpetrators.
- Accordingly, we call on all political parties in Sudan, the African Union states, the countries supporting the current negotiations’ track and the member states of the Human Rights’ Council to support the Council’s decision to form an “international investigation mechanism” into the committed crimes during and after the dispersion of the general command sit-in, mainly the sexual violence crimes, rape and gang rape against women and female protesters and all crimes that can be classified as crimes against humanity. We also call on the Human Rights’ Council member states to propose the draft resolution before the council as a first step and to adopt it and provide the necessary support for its success, as much as possible.
- Sudanese women represented by women’s organizations and associations across the country call on all political, syndicate, professional and non-governmental forces in the country and on the African Union states not to tolerate the crimes committed against Sudanese women in any political and negotiation framework. They also call on all of these parties to underline that it is unacceptable to infringe upon the demand for justice and accountability for the perpetrators of these crimes and atrocities.