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Final Event on CEDAW Campaign cancelled in Port Sudan

3/16/2006 1:12pm


Sudan Organisation Against Torture

Human Rights Alert: 16 March 2006

Final Event on CEDAW Campaign cancelled in Port Sudan

On 15 March 2006, officers from the National Security Bureau (NSB) in Port Sudan, Eastern Sudan summoned Hassan Altaieb, lawyer and SOAT monitor in Port Sudan to their offices for questioning. Whilst at the security offices, Mr. Altieb was questioned about an event scheduled to be held in Port Sudan tomorrow 16 March 2005 as part of a nationwide campaign for the ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). The security officers demanded the list of participants expected to attend the event including the full names of all the speakers.

Following two hours of questioning, security officers informed Mr. Altieb that they were cancelling the event. No reason was given for why the event should be cancelled. The security officers also advised the hotel where the event was due to be held on 16 March 2006 to cancel the room reservation.

The campaign for the ratification of CEDAW by the government of Sudan was organised by Khartoum Centre for Human Rights and Environmental Development (KCHRED) and Amel Center in collaboration with SOAT and funded by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office has seen Workshops and public forums and art exhibitions and meetings with government officials and parliamentarians held in Khartoum, Juba, Southern Sudan and across Sudan including Nyala, Al Fashir, Madani, Kosti and in Port Sudan. The final day of the campaign in Port Sudan was scheduled to culminate in a celebration and workshop in Port Sudan on 16 March.

SOAT condemns the arbitrary use of power by the security forces in Port Sudan and ongoing harassment of human rights defenders taking part in a nationwide human rights campaign. The campaign has brought together Sudanese NGOs, representatives of the government, and representatives across the political spectrum. The objective of the campaign is to discuss women rights in Sudan and to promote closer support for and engagement with, the key objectives of CEDAW and by default the institutions of the United Nations by the public.

SOAT urges Sudan to respect its obligations as state party to the UN Assembly on the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders which under Article 1 states; “everyone has the right, individually or in association with others, to promote and to strive for the protection and realisation of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international level”, and article 12.2, provides that “the State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually or in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration”.

SOAT calls on the Government of Sudan to:

i. Immediately investigate and provide reasons for the cancellation of the event;

ii. Respect human rights and fundamental freedoms including freedom of Association in accordance with international human rights standards

iii. Cease the harassments, summoning and arbitrary arrests human rights defenders

iv. Guarantee the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms throughout Sudan in accordance with national laws and international human rights standards.

The above recommendations should be sent in appeals to the following addresses:

His Excellency Omar Hassan al-Bashir

President of the Republic of Sudan

President’s Palace

PO Box 281, Khartoum, Sudan

Fax: + 249 183 783223

His Excellency Salva Kiir Mayardit

First Vice-President

People's Palace

PO Box 281, Khartoum, Sudan

Fax: + 249 183 771025

His Excellency Ali Osman Mohamed Taha


People's Palace

PO Box 281, Khartoum, Sudan

Fax: + 249 183 771025

Mr. Lam Akol Ajawin

Minister of Foreign Affairs

PO Box 873, Khartoum, Sudan

Fax: + 249 183 779383

Mr. Al Zubeir Beshir Taha

Minister of Interior

PO Box 873, Khartoum, Sudan

Fax: + 249 183 779383

Dr. Abdelmuneim Osman Mohamed Taha

Advisory Council for Human Rights

PO Box 302

Khartoum, Sudan

Fax: + 249 183 77088

SOAT is an international human rights organisation established in the UK in 1993. If you have any questions about this or any other SOAT information, please contact us:

Argo House

Kilburn Park Road

London NW6 5LF, UK

Tel: +44 (0)20 7625 8055

Fax: +44 (0)20 7372 2656

E-mail: [email protected]



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