Democracy on Hold: Rights Violations in the April 2010 Sudan Elections

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Laki In: Northeast African Studies: , n. Arlinghaus: , p. IMA International: , no. Martin's Press [etc. Comprehensive peace? The mediator : Gen.

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Addis Ababa Agreement : was it destined to fail and are there lessons for the current Sudan peace process? Adar, John G. Peace and governance programme ; no. Une perspective de paix pour le Soudan en ? Collins In: African Studies Review: , vol. Deng In: The World Today: , vol. Beswick In: Northeast African Studies: , vol. Martin's Press, No time for childhood : psychosocial interventions for children in war-town [i. In Southern Sudan, Human Rights Watch found that the ruling SPLM and aligned security forces repeatedly committed rights and electoral abuses, and created an atmosphere of oppression as people cast their votes.

Widespread vote-rigging, intimidation, and, in some cases, violence permeated the electoral process. Although violence was minimal during the voting period, Human Rights Watch documented numerous incidents of security forces carrying out arbitrary arrests and intimidating voters, opposition members, political party election observers, and domestic election observers in several southern states, including Central Equatoria, Western Equatoria, Western Bahr el Ghazal, Unity, and Jonglei. Many arrests that Human Rights Watch documented had no lawful basis, but instead seemed aimed at preventing party representatives from observing elections.

Sudanese Immigrants in US Question Legitimacy of Upcoming Elections in Sudan

Most were held for a short time and then released. Human Rights Watch received similar reports of arrests and intimidation in Terekeka county from the NCP, independent candidates, and domestic election observers. For example, on April 12, security officers arrested five election observers for Alfred Gore, the independent candidate for governor in Central Equatoria.

They were freed the next day without charge. On April 13, security forces arrested nine opposition party election observers at a polling place in Juba. The security forces then arrested all those who worked for an opposition party or an independent candidate. The security officers briefly questioned and detained the observers at a nearby police station.

And on April 17, observers reported that county commissioners and security officers entered a polling place—as they did in other states—threatened voters and elections commission officials, and took over the counting process. Two days earlier, soldiers beat and detained two other observers for the same candidate.

Dominic Funda, and two others in Tore, Western Equatoria. The men were detained for two days in a military barrack called Rasolo. Human Rights Watch also documented a number of cases of arrests and intimidation of domestic observer groups by security forces in Central Equatoria and Western Equatoria. In Western Equatoria, observers reported that the southern governing party and security officers took control of six polling places and expelled all domestic and other political party observers from the station.

Observers reported that the commissioner of the county entered the polling places and told people how to vote. Observers also reported cases of opposition party observers intimidating and telling people how to vote in a number of states. The security officers beat the observer and warned him not to report on what he had observed in Wau, before releasing him the following day.

Since the election, the Sudanese government has clamped down even further on political freedoms and opponents in the North.

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The same night, national security officers arrested and detained four journalists in a raid on the PCP-affiliated newspaper, Rai al-Shaab, which they shut down. One of the journalists, Abuzar al-Amin, told his family that national security officers subjected him to electrical shocks. Photographs received by Human Rights Watch show marks of abuse on his body.

The journalists remain in detention facing charges of terrorism and espionage.

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On May 29, authorities prevented three prominent human rights activists, including a former member of the national parliament, from traveling to Kampala to attend an ICC review conference. Authorities also stepped up pre-print censorship of newspapers, a practice al-Bashir publicly declared had ended in September On May 19, security officials censored Ajras al-Huriya , banning articles that reported the arrests of al-Turabi and the journalists, and the escalating violence in Darfur. In the weeks that followed, authorities continued to censor Ajras and ordered articles removed from several other newspapers.

Separately, national security forces continue to target members of the United Popular Front UPF , a student group that the government alleges is linked to the Darfur rebel group led by Abdel Wahid al-Nur.

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  7. According to group members, the other two are detained in unknown locations. In Southern Sudan, tensions led to violence over the results of the elections, particularly where SPLM candidates ran against independents. For example, at least five soldiers were reportedly killed in Jonglei state on May 14, when SPLA soldiers clashed with forces loyal to General George Athor who lost the election for governor in Jonglei.

    Human Rights Watch also received reports of increased tensions over results in Central Equatoria, when independent candidate Lado Gore disappeared in late April amid rumors of abduction and an increased presence of armed forces at his residence. The post-election period also saw intimidation and arrests during the counting and tabulation in Unity, Western Equatoria, and Northern Bahr el Ghazal states. SPLA soldiers arrested two staff members. Nor did the missions comment publicly on the human rights violations that occurred during elections, despite the fact that both have human rights units staffed with international human rights officers who are mandated to investigate and report on human rights violations.

    International observer groups produced preliminary statements on their observations of the elections.

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    The most critical reports came from the Carter Center and EU on April 17, which separately described flaws, including widespread procedural irregularities, restrictions on civil liberties, fraud, and harassment by military and security forces. While they acknowledged some irregularities, both missions rushed to welcome the elections, and did not mention the abuses that had marred them. A joint statement by the Sudan Troika the United States, the United Kingdom, and Norway noted that the elections failed to meet international standards, but did not refer in any detail to the country-wide abuses that took place during the elections.

    He stated that the elections fell short of international standards, but failed to condemn the abuses that had occurred.


    Key actors such as the AU and IGAD, as well as the wider international community, have generally supported the elections and failed to condemn the abuses that took place, reflecting their determination to ensure the full implementation of the CPA and see Sudan peacefully into the referendum at all costs. As a result, they must increase pressure on Sudan to improve its human rights record; implement much-needed human rights legal and institutional reforms; cooperate with the ICC; and condemn human rights violations, intimidation, and violence.

    Democracy on Hold

    Grace Choi and Fitzroy Hepkins prepared the report for publication. Human Rights Watch is grateful to all the individuals in and outside Sudan who provided information for this report. Skip to main content. June 30, The Government of National Unity GNU should urgently reform the repressive national security apparatus as envisioned in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and bring flawed criminal and media laws in line with the Interim National Constitution. Undertake appropriate reforms to ensure a transparent and impartial elections commission and process in the future. Immediately end the practice of arbitrary arrests and detentions, torture, and mistreatment of political party members, civil society activists, journalists, and students.

    Release those who remain in detention without a legal basis, and charge those detainees against whom there is a legal case. Conduct investigations in a competent, independent, and impartial manner. Discipline or prosecute officials found to be implicated in torture or physical abuse, regardless of their rank. Ensure all GNU and GoSS security forces are held accountable for deviating from international and domestic human rights standards, in which they should be trained.

    Such training should address torture and mistreatment, unlawful and arbitrary detentions, and proper professional conduct. Clearly explain to security officials what constitutes torture. Hold soldiers accountable for all crimes against civilians, including human rights violations committed in the course of duty. The SPLA should promulgate an enforceable code of conduct that incorporates human rights and humanitarian obligations, and ensure it is disseminated to all soldiers ahead of the referendum on southern self-determination. Consistently and publicly condemn further abuses by the national and Southern Sudanese authorities, such as arbitrary arrests and detentions of political opponents, activists, journalists; repression of assembly and speech; and any other acts of political repression.

    Background After several postponements, the Sudanese government finally held national elections between April 11 and 15, This is the first time the ICC has issued an arrest warrant for the crime of genocide. The warrant is for…. The national elections were an important milestone of the peace agreement, which was meant to pave the way forward for Sudan. But pushing the.

    This page report documents numerous rights violations across Sudan by both northern and southern authorities in the period leading up to, during, and following the April elections. These abuses include restrictions on freedom of speech and assembly, particularly in northern Sudan, and widespread intimidation, arbitrary arrests, and physical violence against. New York — The United States should put pressure on governments identified by the State Department as using child soldiers to end the practice or lose US military assistance, Human Rights Watch said today.

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