Foundation in Human Rights

Order DescriptionRead the following report of human rights abuses in Sudan in 2011, together with the
hypothetical facts, and then answer the questions in bold below.

‘…Thousands of Sudanese students and their supporters gathered in Khartoum and
other northern cities to call for an end to National Congress Party rule and
government-imposed price increases. Similar protests were reported on February 1,
and activists called for the protests to continue…
The government responded to the demonstrations by dispatching armed riot police
and national security forces to the protest sites, including university premises. The
security personnel used force to disperse the demonstrators and arrested more than
100 people, including nine journalists, during the first two days of protests. Many of
the protesters, including two arrested journalists, were subjected to beatings and illtreatment.
One student, Mohammed Abderahman, reportedly died from injuries inflicted by
security forces on January 30, activists said…
The protesters…rallied in public places and at university campuses in Khartoum,
Omdurman, El Obeid, and other towns. Witnesses in Khartoum and Omdurman
reported that armed riot police and national security personnel dispersed groups of
protesters using pipes, sticks, and teargas, injuring several people and preventing
some people from joining the protests…
The majority of those arrested were released within hours, but more than 20 are still
missing and believed to be held by national security forces. Among them is a
southern student at the University of Khartoum, Louis Awil Weriak, who bore signs
of ill-treatment, a fellow detainee who was released said…
…Human Rights Watch urged the government to ensure that any detention is
properly recorded and that anyone detained has all due process protections,
including access to counsel and medical care.
Human Rights Watch also urged the government to lift restrictions on the media
immediately. Government security forces blocked international and Sudanese
journalists who tried to cover the demonstrations. Authorities also went to the
offices of two newspapers, Ajrass al Huriya and Al Sahafa, on January 31, and to AlMaidan
on February 1 to order them not to distribute the editions on those days…’
Human Rights Watch, ‘Sudan: Violent Response to Peaceful Protests’ February 3, 2011
Hypothetically, those detained by the Sudanese authorities were also made to cook
the meals for the others captors and clean up after them. And when they were
released, they were charged with violating the (fictitious) Emergency Powers Act
2017 which became law only during the period of their detention. When they
arrived home, they found that the Sudanese authorities had entered their homes
and taken away anything they thought might be useful in evidence against them
The Sudanese authorities also prevented the students continuing their University
studies; their political supporters, if they were employed, were dismissed from their
Later, the authorities harassed significant members of a minority group in Sudan,
members of the Nubian tribe, forcing many away from their homes in Northern
Sudan. This was to clear space for a power station which opponents claimed would
pollute the local air and water and undermine the local economy.
i) Advise the Sudanese students, their supporters and members of the Nubian tribe
which human rights in the African Charter of Human and Peoples’ Rights may been
infringed by the Sudanese authorities. Give reasons for your answer.
Note: only refer to the facts stated above in your answer. If you choose to read the
original Human Rights Watch report, do not refer to other reported facts in your
answer, as these will be ignored.
ii) Once you have identified the rights in question i) above, rank them in order of
importance, starting with the most important.
Ranking in order of importance can either be in accordance with accepted human
rights standards or in your own opinion. But whichever approach you adopt you must
give reasons for your answer.
iii) Hypothetically, rules of procedure exclude the Sudanese from enforcing their rights
either in Sudan or regionally – in Africa – so they must take their matter to the
international level. Advise them:
a. which international body or bodies they could approach; and
b. assess the effectiveness of this body/these bodies in protecting their human rights,
and human rights more generally.
Note: in answering question iii) do not refer to either the International Court of
Justice or principles of international criminal law.
2016 – 2017 Academic Session
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