Sudan emergency lawyers discuss human rights issues with US envoy

Sudan’s emergency lawyers say they discussed 15 issues, including human rights abuses perpetrated during and after the October 25, 2021 military coup, in a meeting Thursday with Undersecretary of State for African Affairs, Molly Phee, who was on a five day visit to Sudan.

Speaking on behalf of emergency lawyers, Sulafa Osman, told the Sudan today on Radio Dabanga, that the agenda discussed with the envoy included the human rights violations perpetrated during and after the military coup of October 25, 2021, the environment inside the prisons, the prevention of detainees from receiving care and the detention of minors in prison for long periods.

Osman says the agenda also covered murder violations, weapons used to kill, torture, arson, injury, rape, harassment and enforced disappearances in monitored numbers, and violations committed against lawyers, doctors and media professionals in the exercise of their work.

Assistant Secretary of State Molly Phee traveled to Sudan June 5-9 to meet with a wide range of Sudanese stakeholders and political actors.

A press release from the US State Department Spokesperson’s Office announcing his visit said Assistant Secretary Phee’s visit is in support of the Sudan-led process facilitated by the United Nations Integrated Mission for the transitional assistance to Sudan (UNITAMS), Africa the African Union (AU) and the trilateral mechanism of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to resolve the crisis following the military coup of October 25 last.

As Radio Dabanga reported last month, the appointment of an official US Ambassador to Sudan has come closer after candidates for the US Embassy for Sudan and South Sudan, l South Africa, Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya appeared before the US Senate committee in Washington. If John Godfrey, who was nominated by the Biden administration to fill the post, is nominated, he will be the first fully ranked ambassador to the country in 25 years. Sudan is currently served by a Deputy Ambassador.

Sudan–United States relations

After a sharp thaw in US-Sudan relations following the overthrow of Al Bashir’s regime and a move toward democratic transition, relations between Washington and Khartoum were strained following the military coup of 25 last October.

The United States suspended all aid to Sudan after the coup, saying “the United States is suspending aid from the $700 million in Sudan Economic Support Fund emergency aid credits.” These funds were intended to support the country’s democratic transition as we assess the next stage of programming in Sudan.

On May 11, the US Senate passed a draft resolution “to condemn the military coup in Sudan and support the people of Sudan,” and the House of Commons also unanimously passed the non-binding resolution by a vote. quickly without any objections.

On March 23, the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee unanimously approved a draft resolution condemning the military coup in Sudan and calling on the US administration to impose sanctions on those responsible for the coup.

The draft resolution came two days after the US Treasury imposed sanctions on central reserve paramilitary forces (popularly known as Abu Teira) who are under police command, in accordance with the global Magnitsky Act* on serious violations of human rights. human rights.

The Treasury cited the excessively violent crackdown on peaceful pro-democracy protests by security forces as the main reason.

Numerous calls have been made for targeted US sanctions against the Chairman of Sudan’s Sovereignty Council, General Abdelfattah El Burhan, and Vice President Mohamed “Hemeti” Dagalo for their involvement in serious human rights violations in the after the coup.

In March, the United States Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced sanctions against Sudan’s Central Reserve Police (CRP, popularly known as the End up at) for serious human rights abuses committed yesterday. The Treasury cited the excessively violent crackdown on peaceful pro-democracy protests by security forces as the main reason.

Last week, the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced sanctions against “Sudanese companies linked to Hamas”, with a financier, Hisham Younis Yahia Qafisheh, who allegedly “operated and managed at least two Sudan-based companies, Agrogate Holding and Al Rowad Real Estate Development, to generate revenue for the Palestinian group”.

Bilateral agreement

In November 2020, Sudan and the United States signed a bilateral settlement of claims to resolve “default judgments and claims based on allegations that Sudan’s previous regime supported acts of terrorism.” According to the agreement, Sudan was to pay $335 million, in addition to the approximately $72 million already paid, to be distributed to victims of terrorism.

Sudan’s removal from the SST list, enacted in the final days of the Donald Trump administration, was contingent on a bilateral claims settlement signed in November 2020 to resolve “default judgments and claims based on allegations that the Sudan’s previous regime supported acts of terrorism”. Sudan had to pay $335 million, in addition to some $72 million already paid, to be distributed to victims of terrorism.

In exchange, after paying compensation to the families of the victims of the USS Cole destroyer bombing in Yemen in 2000, and the 1998 bombing of the American embassies in Dar El Salaam in Tanzania and Nairobi in Kenya, the judgments default and claims against Sudan in U.S. courts would be dismissed, and Sudan’s sovereign immunities under U.S. law would be restored to those enjoyed by countries that have never been designated by the United States as a sponsoring state of terrorism (SST).

*The Global Magnitsky Act of 2016 authorizes the US government to sanction foreign government officials around the world who are considered to be human rights abusers. Sanctions may include freezing their assets and barring them from entering the United States.

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