REDRESS has worked in Sudan for over two decades to combat violations of human rights and seek justice for victims of torture and other violations
Working in close collaboration with a range of Sudanese partners, REDRESS has:
- helped to change laws and practices on issues including torture, women’s rights and accountability, through policy analysis and advocacy;
- brought to light critical new human rights concerns through detailed documentation (e.g., through in-depth reporting on the criminalisation of women in Sudan); and
- provided legal representation to victims in some of the most emblematic cases of human rights violations in Sudan.
The regime of former Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir had a long history of using torture to silence critics, and perpetrators operated with impunity. The ousting of Al-Bashir in April 2019 moved Sudan into an era of fast-paced change under a transitional government, presenting an opportune moment to implement effective anti-torture reforms, for which REDRESS and its partners in Sudan have advocated for years.
After a decade of calls from REDRESS and Sudanese partners for improvements to Sudan’s laws on torture, in 2020 the current transitional government made several critical changes to Sudan’s Criminal Procedure Act 1991 and Criminal Law Act 1991, including reforms prohibiting the torture of those accused of a crime and increasing the penalties for public officials involved in carrying out torture.
The 2019 repeal of Sudan’s discriminatory Public Order Laws, which disproportionately targeted women and marginalised groups, followed years of advocacy and the publication of REDRESS’s 2017 report on the criminalisation of women; Sudan later undertook additional critical reforms abolishing the crime of apostasy, criminalising female genital mutilation, and removing requirements for women to seek permission from a male relative to travel with children in keeping with recommendations in REDRESS and the African Centre of Justice and Peace Studies’ (ACJPS) 2019 report, A Way forward? Anti-Torture Reforms in Sudan in the Post-Bashir Era.
With the People’s Legal Aid Centre (PLACE), REDRESS has highlighted the importance of the ratification of the UN Convention against Torture and Convention on Enforced Disappearance, and outlined legal challenges related to the pardon of notorious militia leaders.
We continue to advocate for the necessary legislative, policy and institutional measures to ensure the implementation of Sudan’s international human rights obligations, and to prevent impunity for past and ongoing human rights abuses.
Photo credit: David Rose/Panos Pictures.