To The Permanent Representatives All UN Member States
UNGA, New York
06 October 2022
Sub: Re-election of Sudan to the UN Human Rights Council (2023-2025)
We, representatives of the undersigned non-governmental organization are writing to you this letter ahead of the next elections of members of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) scheduled to take place in New York on 11th October 2022. We are deeply concerned that the de facto government of Sudan, which is composed after the military coup d’état of 25th October 2021 is running for re-election for one of the seats slated for Africa. We kindly draw attention that due to this illegal takeover of government, Sudan’s membership in the African Union has been suspended by the continental organization since 27th October 2021.
Sudan is a country that commits gross and systematic violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms and therefore it fails to fulfil the standards outlined in resolution 60/251 adopted by the UN General Assembly (UNGA) on 3rd April 2006.
Paragraph 8 of resolution 60/251 stated that the UNGA: “Decides that the membership in the Council shall be open to all States Members of the United Nations;” and that “when electing members of the Council, Member States shall take into account the contribution of candidates to the promotion and protection of human rights and their voluntary pledges and commitments made thereto […]. Furthermore, in Paragraph 9 of resolution 60/251, the UNGA decided that: “… members elected to the Council shall uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights [and] fully cooperate with the Council […].”
Following the military coup d’état of 25th October 2021, the military junta abrogated the Constitutional Document of August 2019 and toppled the civilian-led government of Prime Minister, Dr. Abdallah Hamdok. This unconstitutional regime change has been followed by a disturbing spate of serious and heinous human rights violations, including unlawful killing of about 120 peaceful protesters, internet shutdowns, harassment of journalists, rape of women protesters, arbitrary arrests, and countless forced disappearances of prodemocracy activists. There is reported increase in the level of violence and violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in Darfur. The country also faces growing dangers of hate speech and calls for ethnic hatred, while the authorities remained idle. The human rights practices in Sudan are clearly incompatible with the well-defined criteria for membership of the Council.
We strongly believe that voting for Sudan would undermine the Council’s credibility and institutional integrity and therefore ask your delegation not to support Sudan’s candidacy. We further urge all states to accord paramount consideration to the promotion and protection of human rights and the respect of the substantive Council membership criteria outlined in resolution 60/251 during the elections of members rather than privileging political considerations over human rights.
1. African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies, Banjul
2. Atrocities Watch Africa, Kampala
3. Darfur Bar Association, Khartoum
4. Darfur Civil Society Forum, Khartoum
5. Darfur Network for Monitoring and Documentation, Kampala
6. Interfaith International, Geneva
7. Nuba Bar Association, Khartoum
8. Omar Al-Mukhtar International Association, Geneva
9. Pan-African Congress (PAC-SD), Khartoum
10. Pan-African Forum on Rights and Development, New York
11. Rencontre Africaine pour la Défense des Droits de l’Homme (RADDHO), Dakar
12. Sudan Documentation Centre, Geneva
13. Sudan Human Rights Network, Washington
14. Sudanese Civil Society Initiative, Khartoum
15. Sudanese Human Rights Initiative, Khartoum
16. The Framework Mechanism, Geneva
17. The Regional Center for Training and Development of Civil Society, Khartoum