UN urges Sudan government to show restraint
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay called on the Sudanese authorities to allow protests planned for Friday to proceed peacefully and called for restraint from the use of violence against demonstrators. She also urged protesters to ensure, on their part, that no violence or damage to property takes place during the demonstrations. This call came on the eve of demonstrators prepare for massive protests on the “Friday off elbow-licking”.
“Dozens of individuals, including human rights defenders, journalists, students and political opponents, have been arrested since the protests began in Khartoum on June 17,” Pillay said.
“I urge the Government to immediately and unconditionally release those who have been detained for merely exercising their rights to freedom of assembly and expression. Reports of ill treatment in detention are very worrying and must be investigated promptly,” she added.
“Tear gas, rubber bullets, live ammunition and other heavy-handed suppression will not resolve the frustrations and grievances of the people regarding shortcomings in their enjoyment of economic, social, civil and political rights,” Pillay said. “Genuine dialogue with Government critics is far more effective than arbitrary detention and violence if the Government wishes to create a stable and successful society.”
Human rights groups said that tens of demonstrators have been detained since the beginning of a wave of demonstrations in Sudan. Navi Pillay's statement is the latest in a series of international condemnations about the Sudanese government's treatment of protesters.