Amnesty International Warns Sudan’s Military Rulers Against Using Deadly Force

Photo credits: Creative Commons/Sudan Tribune

A global human rights group has demanded that Sudan’s Transitional Military Council (TMC) use restraint ahead of major protests scheduled for Sunday (June 30).

According to the Al-Jazeera Media Network, Sudan’s TMC was given a stern warning from Amnesty International (AI). The U.K.-based human rights organization is on high alert after a bloody month in northern Sudan. An official statement was issued Friday (June 28).

“The horrific unprovoked use of lethal and unnecessary force against peaceful protesters as witnessed on June 3 must not be repeated this Sunday, or ever again. There has been an alarming regression on human rights,” said AI’s Secretary-General Kumi Naidoo.

“This includes an ongoing internet shutdown, attacks on the media, and the refusal to allow opposition groups to organise public forums; as well as the continued dispersal of peaceful protesters using unnecessary and excessive force,” he continued.

“This clampdown clearly points to the return of the repressive days associated with [Sudan’s former president] Al-Bashir,” Naidoo added.

Mass protests organized by Sudanese opposition groups will be occurring this weekend. June 30 marks the 30-year anniversary of a Sudanese military coup in 1989, which brought the now deposed Omar Al-Bashir to power.

Since Al-Bashir stepped down as Sudan’s president this past April, the mass protests that helped pressure him out of power have persisted. However, a heavy-handed crackdown imposed by the TMC early this month killed scores of people.

According to Sudan’s health ministry, 61 peaceful protesters were killed on June 3 alone. A group of Sudanese doctors connected to the opposition also claimed that mass rapes were carried out in commission with the murders.

On June 27, leaders of Sudan’s protest movement received a new proposal for the nation’s government transition process. This proposal was drafted by the Ethiopian government and the African Union. However, the main opposition group has not approved this proposal.

“[Sudan’s] Alliance for Freedom and Change received the draft…and will be considering the proposal to make a decision,” the organization said in an official statement issued on June 27.