May 19, 2006
Support Sudanese NGOs Facing Persecution
I wanted to share this alert from Human Rights First. It calls on the Sudanese government to stop the harassment and legal persecution of NGOs, human rights and humanitarian organizations in Sudan, whose work has been critical in the Darfur crises.
President Omar al-Bashir’s officials have passed legislation in an effort to prevent independent organizations from documenting and publicizing human rights violations. This is in addition to human rights defenders being arrested, beaten, and “disappeared” while carrying out their work.
This is an excerpt from the press release:
“On April 11, 2006, the Sudanese government froze the assets of a local women’s rights organization called the Women’s Awareness Raising Group (AWOON) – Red Sea , making it impossible for the organization to continue its work. AWOON plays a vital role in promoting women’s rights in Sudan and addresses critical issues facing Sudanese women through human rights training, advocacy and free legal assistance.”
AWOON is a local NGO of female lawyers who provide legal assistance and advocate to promote women’s & children’s rights in Port Sudan. They submitted a proposal last summer to the EU, seeking funds for a campaign to promote women’s rights to access a counsel and funds for a training course for lawyers and activists. Althought the request for this project was and got underway this March, it was abruptly bought to an end.
At a time when Sudan has been complicit in crimes against humanity and failed to protect its citizens, it is important for nongovernmental organizations like AWOON to be able to carry out their work. Human Rights First is trying to put pressure on Sudan to stop persecuting human rights defenders by demanding that AWOON – Red Sea be allowed to resume its operations and have access to its financial resources.
You can sign the electronic petition to Ambassador H.E. Khidir Haroun Ahmed and H.E. Ambassador Omer Manis here.