NEW YORK -- As U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Tibor Nagy Jr. and newly appointed Special Envoy for Sudan Donald Booth visit Sudan this week, Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is urging the U.S. government to utilize the trip to push for an end to ongoing violence against peaceful demonstrators and health care professionals, as well as to call for accountability for the attacks.
“The paramilitary Sudanese Rapid Support Forces have committed egregious crimes against the Sudanese people, including physical attacks, murder, rape, and the targeting of hospitals, and the Transitional Military Council has failed to act promptly to move toward a majority civilian government,” said Michael Payne advocacy officer for PHR.
“Physicians for Human Rights has compiled reliable information from Sudanese doctors and their associations and other credible sources, both inside and outside the country, to document human rights violations committed by Sudanese government security forces and allied militias. We are encouraged by Assistant Secretary Nagy and Ambassador Booth’s visit to Sudan this week.
“We urge Assistant Secretary Nagy and Ambassador Booth to press for an end to security forces’ violence, for accountability for the attacks – which have included dozens of fatal assaults since peaceful protests began in December – and for immediate engagement with the United Nations and the African Union to ensure this situation does not endure.”
In a letter sent to Nagy this week, PHR asked him to exert U.S. influence to stop the continuing violence against peaceful demonstrators and civilians. The letter urged Nagy and his delegation to specifically press the Transitional Military Council to end all attacks on health care workers and hospitals and to allow health care workers to fulfill their professional and ethical obligations to provide medical treatment to any and all who might require it. The letter also calls for accountability for the attacks on peaceful protestors.
The PHR letter further asks the United States to insist that the UN Security Council halt all handovers of bases by the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID), re-assess downsizing plans, and strengthen UNAMID’s core mandate to protect civilians.
PHR urges the United States to call on the governments of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to exert pressure on the Transitional Military Council to cease all attacks on peaceful protestors, restore the internet, and engage in a good-faith transition to a rights-respecting civilian government.
PHR has been tracking government violence against the Sudanese people since protests began in December. In April, PHR released a report on massive violations of human rights committed by now-ousted Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir’s forces during the months of protests, including the use of disproportionate, unnecessary, and sometimes lethal force. The report, “Intimidation and Persecution: Sudan’s Attacks on Peaceful Protesters and Physicians,” which has been documenting human rights violations in Sudan, urging U.S. administration officials visiting Sudan to push Sudanese forces to end egregious violence against its own people.