Human Rights Watch (HRW) has released footage of Sudanese government forces committing “shocking” acts of violence and abuse against protesters over the past weeks, calling on the United Nations Human Rights Council to probe the rights violations.
The footage, released on Monday and authenticated by the HRW, showed security forces running over people with vehicles, firing live ammunition and teargas at unarmed protesters, including in hospitals, brutally beating demonstrators and bystanders with sticks and gun butts, and arbitrarily arresting protesters.
The rights body said the footage “shows gruesome, bloody injuries from gunshots; evidence of harsh beatings and torture; and the effects of raids by security forces on hospitals, filling emergency rooms with teargas and hindering medical care.”
“There is irrefutable evidence that Sudan is using ruthless violence and brutality against peaceful protesters and critics of the government,” Jehanne Henry, the associate Africa director at the HRW, said.
She said the violent tactics had to end and those responsible be held to account.
Sudan has been the scene of demonstrations since December last year, when the government decided to triple the price of bread. The public display of anger has escalated into calls for President Omar al-Bashir to step down.
The protests — which are viewed as the biggest threat to Bashir’s 30-year rule — have so far led to the deaths of 30 people, according to official figures. Sudanese activists estimate that over 50 people have died.
Rights groups say hundreds of people have been arrested since the protests began, including opposition leaders, activists, and journalists as well as demonstrators.
Bashir has acknowledged economic difficulties but has said allegations of a crisis in the country are exaggerated.
The HRW also called on the United Nations Human Rights Council to urgently respond to the unrest in Sudan at its March session and ensure that an independent investigation would be carried out into the violations committed since the beginning of the protests.
“With each passing week the situation is getting worse,” Henry said. “It is high time for the UN Human Rights Council to ramp up monitoring and reporting on the situation and to send investigators to the country at once.”
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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