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Sudan: No peace without justice


Sudan: No peace without justice

I reported the murder of my brother to the police but they told me to go and see the armed forces. So I went to the Security who told me to report to the armed forces. Both asked me to pay and I paid in total 35 million [Sudanese pounds]. Then, after someone contacted the army officer in Saraf Omra, I was arrested on 20 August 2003. The armed forces took me to a military camp outside Kabkabiya and beat me, tied my feet and arms and hung me up to a tree from the morning to the evening. Testimony given to Amnesty International in October 2004 by the brother of a man who was extra judicially executed by the armed forces.


Amnesty International today warned that ongoing peace talks on Sudan must concentrate on immediate judicial reforms to protect the whole population if further conflict is to be avoided.

The warning comes as talks on Darfur are due to reconvene next week in the Nigerian capital of Abuja while the North-South peace talks in Naivasha, Kenya are entering their final month before an end-of-year deadline for agreement.

"Peace mediators must look beyond simple power-sharing and economic arrangements and address the legitimate demands for justice of millions of victims of gross human rights abuse. Only by establishing an independent and transparent legal infrastructure can the country begin to overcome its current crisis and achieve a durable and inclusive peace," said Amnesty's NZ director, Ced Simpson.

In a report out today, Sudan: No one to complain to: No respite for the victims, impunity for the perpetrators, Amnesty International describes how hundreds of thousands of people in Darfur are being denied justice and left without protection from killings, torture, rape and displacement. This sharply contrasts with the widespread impunity of those responsible for such human rights violations and the policy of incorporating them into state security forces.

The report documents numerous cases of arbitrary arrest and detention, death in custody, torture, unfair trials and harassment which deny victims access to justice in Darfur.

Amnesty International sets out a series of recommendations to the Government of Sudan including:

o Repeal of laws which allow the security forces to keep people in prolonged incommunicado detention and gives them immunity for their actions;
o Abolition of laws which contravene international standards for fair trials including provisions which prevent the accused from withdrawing confessions and appealing against their conviction and sentencing.
o Introduction of measures to ensure that everyone has equal access to justice, the time to prepare their defence as well as free legal assistance if necessary.
o Immediate release of all those detained solely for their peaceful beliefs and those that have been arbitrarily arrested.
o A clear public announcement from the government that torture or other ill-treatment will not be tolerated in any detention centre and will be prosecuted.

"Under the pretext of armed conflict and the cover of a state of emergency, the Sudanese government has oppressed victims of human rights abuses and let the real perpetrators go free, both in the war in southern Sudan and Darfur. The international community must demand that fundamental human rights, are fully protected in Sudanese law and ensure that the presence and mandate of international monitors looking into all human rights violations be reinforced," said Mr. Simpson.

For more information including the report:
Visit AINZ’s website at http://www.amnesty.org.nz


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