Document - Sudan rejects recommendations to reform the National Intelligence and Security Service amid reports of continuing arbitrary arrests, torture and unlawful killings
AI Index: AFR 54/031/2011
26 September 2011
Sudan rejects recommendations to reform the National Intelligence and Security Service amid reports of continuing arbitrary arrests, torture and unlawful killings
Human Rights Council adopts Universal Periodic Review outcome on Sudan
Amnesty International has documented numerous cases of arbitrary arrests, torture and other ill-treatment, as well as some instances of unlawful killings, of individuals in the custody of the National Intelligence and Security Service in Sudan. Between January and April 2011, following peaceful protests in Khartoum, Darfur and other towns in Sudan, hundreds of activists were arrested, and several were tortured, sexually assaulted or harassed by the National Intelligence and Security Service. Deaths in custody were also reported.
The organization is disappointed by Sudan’s rejection of recommendations to review the 2010 National Security Act and to reform the National Intelligence and Security Service, in line with its international human rights obligations. The 2010 National Security Act maintains the immunity of National Intelligence and Security Service agents from prosecution and disciplinary action for all acts committed during the course of their work. Although such immunities can be lifted by the Minister of Justice, no such cases have been brought to the attention of Amnesty International.
Amnesty International welcomes Sudan’s commitment to amend the 2009 Press and Publications Act, which unduly restricts freedom of expression, and to ensure that journalists are protected against intimidation, harassment and arbitrary arrests. The organization continues to receive reports of journalists suffering harassment and other restrictions and of newspapers being closed or facing other forms of censorship.
Amnesty International regrets Sudan’s rejection of recommendations to establish a moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty. While Sudan has accepted recommendations to prohibit the death penalty for persons under 18 years, the organization is aware of at least three alleged children, in addition to six adults, who are in the death row section of Shalla Prison, Darfur, and awaiting re-trial. Amnesty International calls for the death sentences to be commuted and for an appeal in accordance with international fair trial standards.
The UN Human Rights Council adopted the outcome of the Universal Periodic Review of Sudan on 23 September 2011 during its 18th session. Prior to the adoption the report of the review Amnesty International prepared the above statement for delivery at the Human Rights Council; however, due to time constraints the organization were not able to deliver the statement. Amnesty International also contributed to the information basis of the review through its submission on Sudan: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/AFR54/034/2010/en
International Secretariat, Amnesty International, 1 Easton St., London WC1X 0DW, UK www.amnesty.org
A/HRC/18/16, recommendations 83.21 (Austria), 83.22 (France), 83.23 (Canada), 83.24 (Ireland), 83.25 (Republic of Korea), 83.26 (Switzerland), 83.27 (United Kingdom).
Ibid., recommendations 83.28 (Austria), 83.29 (Canada), and 83.132 (Switzerland).
Ibid., recommendations 83.86 (Switzerland), 83.87 (Brazil), 83.88 (Spain), 83.89 (Belgium), 83.90 (Italy), and 83.94 (Uruguay).
Ibid., recommendations 83.93 (Belgium), 83.94 (Uruguay), 83.95 (Spain), 83.96 (Italy), 83.97 (Brazil), 83.98 (Switzerland), 83.99 (Palestine), 83.100 (France), 83.101 (Slovenia).