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ACJPS, FIDH and IRRI submission to the Universal Periodic Review of Sudan 2016

(22 September 2015) On 21 September 2015 the African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS), International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), and International Refugee Rights Initiative (IRRI) made a stakeholder submission to the Universal Periodic Review of Sudan 2016. The submission details human rights developments in Sudan, including legal and institutional, documented by our organisations since the last Universal Periodic Review of Sudan by member states of the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2011.

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Botswana: Repatriating Eritreans Without Access to Asylum Procedure Would Violate International Law and Could Amount to Refoulement

(16 October 2015) The International Refugee Rights Initiative expresses grave concern over reports that the government of Botswana plans to plans to repatriate ten Eritrean asylum seekers without ensuring access to refugee status determination procedures and respect for the right to seek asylum and urges the government to respect its commitment to refugee rights and its obligations under law, and to demonstrate that commitment through transparent due process for asylum seekers in its territory.

The ten Eritreans, members of the Eritrean national football team, requested asylum after arriving in Botswana.

Read the full press release.

NGO Letter regarding human rights situation at 30th session of the UN Human Rights Council

To Permanent Representatives of Members and Observer States of the UN Human Rights Council

Geneva, 3 September 2015,

RE: Gravely deteriorating human rights and humanitarian situation in Sudan

We write to share our serious concerns about the deteriorating human rights situation in Sudan, marked by harsh political repression and continued impunity. There is increasing evidence that Sudanese security forces are committing war crimes in the conflict areas of Darfur, Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states. We call on your delegation to support the development and adoption of a strong and responsive resolution on Sudan under agenda Item 4 at the 30th session of the Human Rights Council in September.

Over the past four years in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile, the Sudanese government has engaged in indiscriminate and targeted aerial bombardment of civilian areas, killing and wounding hundreds, if not thousands, of civilians. Government forces have destroyed civilian property including villages, health facilities, schools, mosques and churches, and the authorities continue to obstruct humanitarian assistance. Government forces and allied militia have also been implicated in alarming levels of sexual violence. Ongoing attacks and fighting have caused massive displacement over the past year.

Read the full letter.

Letter from 33 NGOs on ACT Code of Conduct

(31 August 2015) On behalf of the undersigned civil society organizations, we are writing to request your government’s explicit support for the new “Code of Conduct regarding Security Council action against genocide, crimes against humanity, or war crimes.”

Over the past few years, the world has witnessed an intolerable rise in the commission of atrocities against civilians. Populations from Syria to the Central African Republic to South Sudan, to name but a few, suffer daily from the very same crimes that the international community has repeatedly vowed to prevent.

At such a moment of global instability, expectations have grown for preventive, timely, and decisive action by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), as the UN organ primarily tasked with the maintenance of international peace and security. The UNSC has indeed exerted leadership by taking recent action on a number of situations of atrocity crimes.

Read the full letter.

UN Human Rights Council: Create Commission of Inquiry for Yemen

The undersigned organizations call on the United Nations Human Rights Council to create an international commission of inquiry to investigate alleged serious violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law by all relevant parties since September 2014, when the Houthi armed group took control of Sana’a, the Yemen capital.

On March 26, 2015, a Saudi-led coalition launched an air campaign against the Houthi forces. Since then, parties to the conflict have committed serious violations of international law, some of which may amount to war crimes.

The Saudi-led coalition has conducted indiscriminate airstrikes in violation of international humanitarian law that have killed scores of civilians and hit civilian objects and infrastructure. On July 24, for example, coalition airplanes repeatedly struck two residential compounds of the Mokha Steam Power Plant. These strikes alone killed at least 65 civilians, including 10 children.

Read the full letter.

South Sudan: Release of AU Inquiry Report a vital step for resolution of crisis

(23 July 2015) The International Refugee Rights Initiative, Amnesty International and twenty three South Sudanese and international organizations have written a letter to the Africa Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) urging them to publish and the African Union Commission of Inquiry report on South Sudan (AUCISS) at its meeting scheduled for 24 July.

Read the full letter.

49 NGOs sign letter to US Special Envoy Ambassador Booth in advance of visit to Sudan

(20 July 2015)

Dear Special Envoy Ambassador Booth,

In the run up to your visit to Sudan at the end of July, we, the undersigned Sudanese, African and international non-governmental organisations, are writing to brief you on some of our key concerns in regards to the human rights and humanitarian situation in Sudan. While we welcome your visit as an opportunity to engage with the Government of Sudan, we urge you to make it clear that there can be no normalisation of relations with the United States as long as the government continues to callously target its own citizens and disrespect its international and regional human rights obligations.

Read the full letter.

With 87 South Sudanese refugee arrivals a day, Uganda’s Adjumani District offers important lessons for alternatives to camps

(1 July 2015)  While Europe squabbles over the acceptance of thousands of migrants and asylum seekers arriving over the Mediterranean, over the past year 154,134 refugees of South Sudanese origin alone have been assisted in Uganda, with Adjumani District receiving around 87 new arrivals every day. Despite the fact that Adjumani is itself recovering from decades of conflict, national and local officials and the host population are finding ways to accommodate refugees both inside and out of the camps.

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“Your silence is a shame to humanity.”

(20 April 2015) A new report launched today by the International Refugee Rights Initiative and the National Human Rights Monitoring Organisation brings the voices of civilians living through the conflict in Sudan’s Southern Kordofan State to the international community.

Read the full press release.

IRRI and other rights groups call on Egypt to end arbitrary detention of refugees.

(16 March 2015) Since February 9, 2015 a group of at least 30 Syrian, Palestinian-Syrian and Somali refugees detained at Karmooz police station in Alexandria - Egypt, began an open hunger strike to protest against their arbitrary detention. The refugees have been kept in continuous detention after receiving a deportation order by Egypt's Homeland Security agency, despite an earlier order by the Public Prosecutor to release them. The lives of the hunger strikers will be put at grave risk if the Egyptian authorities continue to arbitrarily detain them. This statement calls on the Egyptian government to act now and immediately release all refugees held without charges at Karmooz Police Station in Alexandria.

Read the full statement.