Sudan ratifies anti-torture treaty three decades after signing

Sudan ratifies anti-torture treaty three decades after signing
2 min read
02 January, 2021
The announcement comes after the death of a Sudanese activist under torture last month.
Sudanese protest the death of an activist under torture last month [Getty]
Sudan has approved the ratification of a United Nations anti-torture treaty, Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok said on Friday.

The announcement comes more than three decades after Khartoum signed on to the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT).

Sudan never ratified the treaty after signing in 1986, just three years before an Islamist-backed coup that propelled Omar al-Bashir to power.

Bashir was ousted by the military in April 2019 after months of popular protest. Sudan has since been ruled by a fragile coalition of military and civilian leaders.

Under Bashir torture was rife, and the abuse of civilians by the feared Sudanese security services was one key motivation behind the anti-government protests that began in December 2018.

But accusations of torture have not yet subsided during Sudan's fledgling transition to democracy.

Last month, the death of a Sudanese man under torture at a paramilitary detention facility sparked fresh protests.

"Targeting civilians with extrajudicial killing, torture, or enforced disappearance, regardless of the reasons for, is totally unacceptable by all Sudanese," Prime Minister Hamdok said at an event marking the 65th anniversary of the country's independence.

The Convention Against Torture has been ratified by 170 countries. India has also signed but not ratified the treaty, while countries including Iran and Myanmar have not signed.

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