The Human Rights and Refugees Secretariat of the Broad National Movement in Canada condemns in strongest terms the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) statement issued on Saturday July 17th, 2020 that legal action would be taken against activists, journalists, and others both inside Sudan and abroad. The Secretariat regards this statement as a restrict on fundamental rights to freedoms and a criminalisation to the exercise of the right to freedom of opinion and expression.
The army ruled Sudan for a few months after the ouster in April 2019 of President Omar al- after months-long mass protests his 30-year repressive rule, before signing a fragile three-year power-sharing deal with civilians in August 2019.
Activists and journalists regularly accuse the army of having failed to protect demonstrators during the protest movement and intentionally blocking investigations to bring to justice those who were involved in the killing of hundred protesters on June the 3rd last year when security forces broke up a sit-in outside the Defence Ministry .
In May 2020, the Sudanese Armed Forces announced the appointment of an officer specialized in cyber crimes as a commissioner to file legal complaints and follow up on them under the supervision of the military prosecutor
The Secretariat considers this action an explicit violation to the right to freedom of expression embodied in all constitutions and international human rights charters. The army’s unfair action violates Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that protects the Right to freedom of opinion and expression and emphasises that everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
The fact that SAF can enforce such action confirms what the Broad National Movement has been reporting since the signing of the fragile power -sharing deal, called the constitutional declaration, that the army will do all it takes to bring back to live it’s passion to re-rule the country, including silencing critical voices of those who are fighting for pure civilian democratic government in Sudan . The Broad National Movement has rejected and regarded the fragile declaration as a settlement with military and its security committee which gives impunity to the members of the military in the current military-civilian government and protect them from prosecution. This impunity could allow military leaders to tolerate acts to violate rights , use violence , escalate tensions and run counter to the basic terms of the already fragile declaration to eventually rule the country .The Secretariat believes that the declaration goes against the principles of Freedom, Peace and Justice for which the Sudanese people sacrifice their lives during the great December’s revolution.
The Human Rights and Refugees Secretariat in Canada will closely monitor and follow up on every single violation to freedom of opinion principles this action will allow. The Secretariat will not only report these violations to official bodies and human rights organizations in Canada but will also announce them to public opinion and share information and reports about repressions , offences and harassments against activists journalists and others took place inside and outside Sudan.
Long live the struggle for democratic Sudan. Shame and disgrace to the murderers and criminals
Human Rights and Refugees Secretariat – Broad National Movement Canada
July 21, 2020