London – The Sudanese transitional government must address repressive laws and policies to stop the deterioration of life conditions in the country in light of the signing of the Constitutional Declaration, a new paper published by ImpACT International for Human Rights Policies concluded.
The London-based thinktank called on the Sudanese authorities to amend the laws of 2009 and 2013 that give the government the right to impose a ban on newspapers whose publications contain contrary content to the state’s policies.“In an attempt to control the mass media in the country, the security forces continued arresting dozens of journalists and chief editors of local newspapers, and then facing them with trumped up charges,” said Martha Gardiner, a researcher at ImpACT.
“Such governmental violations of journalists, rights were justified by contrived excuses such as threats on national security and distortion of the prestigious image of the country”
Dire prison conditions
According to the paper, although Article (5) of the National Prison Regulation Act 2010 states that Prison conditions should be compatible with human dignity and acceptable standards in the community, prison environments are unhealthy, with lack basic health services, qualified medical staff, and essential medications and materials which allow prisoners to have access to adequate medical care.
Also, prisoners are usually not provided with a meal with sufficient nutritional value. In spite of the large number of prisoners inside the prisons, there are no ventilation facilities inside the rooms during sweltering summer, nor heavy blankets or clothing to protect them in extremely cold weather.
With the prison infrastructure being “primitive”, prisons in Sudan continue to spread disease and infection among prisoners, according to the paper.
In addition, Sudan continues to detain dozens of activists and opponents because of their political views without clear charges or any access to lawyers or family visits. The detainees, by the National Security and Intelligence Service, face the risk of ill-treatment, physical torture, sexual assault, severe beatings and electrocution. Moreover, prison administrations manipulate detainees using psychological destruction methods by deluding them that a final pardon has been issued, until the specified period expires, so they become frustrated. Then they subject them to another form of torture and force them to confess.
Wasteful economic policies
According to the paper, the policies of the Ministry of Finance basic work on closing the budget gap are “very wasteful”.
Large funds are allocated to spend on the large numbers of executives in the country; this is considered as an increasing and wasteful government expenditure at the expense of the citizen. At the same time, the unemployment rate in Sudan is expected to reach about 12.8% at the end of the third quarter of this year.
This is mainly due to the post-separation period of the South, political and security instability and internal conflicts, as well as wars, financial corruption, natural disasters and the deterioration of the infrastructure that the country has seen in recent decades.
ImpACT International called on the transitional government in Sudan to implement the Prisons Regulation and Treatment of National Prisoners Act of 2010 to ensure the rehabilitation and reform of prisoners and organizing prisons in a manner that respects their human dignity.
In addition, the thinktank recommended that the Sudanese authorities reduce budgets allocated for spending on officials and executives in the government, and raise budgets allocated for supporting education, agriculture, health and other service sectors.