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Sudan is not business as usual, the UN repeats

By adopting a new resolution on Sudan today, the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council makes it clear that the situation in the country, including grave human rights violations committed against Suda­nese citizens, calls for continued international attention. Defend­Defen­ders urges the Council to look beyond its 50th ses­sion (13 June-8 July 2022) and to adopt a long-term vision to address Sudan’s human rights situation, based on continued scrutiny. 

After the military coup of 25 October 2021, the Human Rights Council took swift action by holding a special session,” said Hassan Shire, Exe­cu­tive Direc­tor, Defend­Defen­ders. “As the situation across Sudan continues to dete­riorate, the Council should be steadfast in condemning violations and combating impunity. This isn’t busi­ness as usual.” 

In her last report to the Council, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, highlighted un­law­ful killings of and excessive use of force against peaceful protesters, arbitrary detentions, acts of torture, sexual and gender-based violence, attacks on medical staff and hospitals, and undue restrictions to civic free­doms. She also highlighted that impunity remains widespread. 

This assessment led a group of four states (United Kingdom, United States, Norway, and Germany) to com­ple­ment resolution S-32/1, adopted during the special session on Sudan, on 5 November 2021, with a resolu­tion reques­ting more independent reporting and public debates on the country. In her work on Sudan, the High Com­mis­sioner is assisted by Adama Dieng, an Expert on Sudan she designated at the request of the Council. 

As per resolution S-32/1, the Desi­gnated Expert’s mandate will be ongoing “until the resto­ra­tion of [Sudan’s] civilian-led Govern­ment.” The resolution also called on the High Commissioner and the Expert to continue to bring information to the attention of the Council “and to advise on the further steps that may be needed if the situation continues to deteriorate.” Today’s resolution (50/L.14/Rev.1) ensures that debates on Sudan will be held until at least the Council’s 53rd session (June 2023). 

“Resolution S-32/1 provides a basis for continued international scrutiny of and action on Sudan,” said Nicolas Agostini, Representative to the UN for Defend­Defen­ders. “Beyond the resolution adop­ted today, the Human Rights Council should keep all options on the table to expose the de facto authorities and increase the political cost of the abuses they commit.” 

As the Council was discussing a resolution on Sudan, in the country, violations against those pro­testing the coup and de­man­ding civilian rule continued, including in late June/early July 2022, when security forces violently cracked down on mass demonstrations, killing at least ten protesters. The responsibility falls squa­rely on the de facto military authorities. In Darfur and other conflict areas, violence continues to intensify. 

Ahead of the Human Rights Council’s 50th session, over 50 Sudanese, African, and international civil society orga­ni­sations urged states to support the adoption of a resolution that en­sures continued attention to Sudan. 


For more information, please contact:

Estella Kabachwezi
Advocacy, Research and Communications Manager, DefendDefenders

[email protected] or +256 782 360 460 (English)

Nicolas Agostini
Representative to the United Nations for DefendDefenders

[email protected] or +41 79 813 49 91 (English and French)


Human Rights Defender of the month: Apollo Mukasa

Apollo Mukasa’s journey into activism is deeply rooted in his commitment to advocate for the rights of persons with disabilities (PWDs). As the Executive Director of Uganda National Action on Physical Disability (UNAPD), Apollo is a driving force behind initiatives aimed at combating discrimination among PWDs. UNAPD was established in 1998 as a platform for voicing concerns of persons with physical disabilities to realise a barrier free environment where they can enjoy their rights to the fullest.