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9 February 2018

Heidi Hautala and Pier Antonio Panzeri release statement on Sudanese HRDs

European Parliament Vice-President Heidi Hautala, along with the Chair of the Subcommittee on Human Rights, Pier Antonio Panzeri released the following statement on the recent crackdown on human rights defenders in Sudan which included the arrest and ongoing detainment of HRDs Mohamed Aldouma on 17 January 2018, Hanan Hassan Khalifa and Rawa Gafar Bakhit on 31 January 2018, and Salih Mahmoud Osman on 1 February 2018.

Sudan must release Sakahrov Laureate Salih Mahmoud Osman and other detained human rights defenders and stop the crackdown and the use of excessive force against protesters: EP VP Hautala and DROI Chair PanzeriWe strongly condemn the arbitrary arrest by Sudanese forces of Salih Mahmoud Osman, Sakharov Prize Laureate and Vice President of the Darfur Bar Association, as well as arrests of other human rights defenders in Sudan.

We are alarmed to learn that a crackdown on protesters, human rights defenders, student activists, journalists, attorneys and academics continues in Sudan, with the authorities using arbitrary arrests and excessive force to deal with peaceful protests against rising food prices.

EP Vice-President Heidi Hautala, who is responsible for the Sakharov Prize Network, said: “Having met Mr Osman a number of times, I have had the opportunity to follow closely his work which paves the way for accountability and justice in Sudan and beyond. Today, our friend is in danger because of this work. He must be immediately released.”

"Mr Osman and other detained human rights defenders must be treated humanely, their legal rights must be fully respected and they must be released immediately," added Mr Panzeri.

"We also condemn the on-going detention of journalist and human rights defender, Amal Habani, and the arrest of Mr Ahmed Jadien and other journalists, just for doing their work. We urge the Sudanese government to guarantee the physical and psychological integrity of the detainees and to release them immediately or to bring them to court if the Sudanese law enforcement authorities believe they have any reason to hold the detainees. We also call on the government of Sudan to immediately stop the harassment of the media and allow for media in Sudan to publish and broadcast without fear.”


Heidi Hautala, European Parliament Vice-President
Pier Antonio Panzeri, Chair of the Subcommittee on Human Rights