U.S. Condemns Use of Violence Against Protestors in Sudan

Press Statement
Ian Kelly
Department Spokesman, Bureau of Public Affairs, Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
December 8, 2009

The United States condemns the use of violence against and detentions of peaceful protestors and opposition political figures by Sudanese authorities on December 7, 2009 in Omdurman, Sudan. We condemn all acts of violence in Sudan and call for restraint and dialogue among all parties. We will continue to monitor the situation very closely.

The U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan, Scott Gration, stated, “I am deeply concerned about these developments and urge all parties to exercise restraint. Negotiations on issues of urgent importance to all of the Sudanese people cannot proceed in an atmosphere of intimidation.”

The United States calls on the Government of Sudan to allow freedom of expression and peaceful demonstrations in the spirit of the Interim National Constitution. Additionally, the United States calls on all parties to create an atmosphere conducive to credible elections. The elections are a critical component of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, and all parties must work to effect serious reforms well before the elections occur in April 2010. Freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, and protection from against arbitrary arrest and detention are fundamental human rights that must be respected. Failure to do so threatens the chances of holding credible elections.

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PRN: 2009/1248