, Dec 25, KHARTOUM- Human rights in Sudan are deteriorating despite efforts by President Omar al-Bashir to hold talks with his opponents on the country’s many problems, a top lawyer told AFP on Tuesday.
Bashir — wanted by the International Criminal Court over war crimes charges in the Darfur region — may have launched a national dialogue, but tight press and political freedoms remain in place, human rights lawyer Nabil Adib said.
“It is deteriorating. We were hoping that this national dialogue would allow the situation to improve but it did not,” Adib said.
Bashir announced the talks in January 2014 in a bid to resolve the conflicts on Sudan’s border regions and its faltering economy.
“Demonstrations are prohibited as long as they are not in support of governmental policies,” he added.
Adib was speaking the week after the powerful National Intelligence and Security Service suspended the daily Al Tayar from publishing and questioned its editor, as well as that of another newspaper.
No official reason was given for the suspension.
“We have a lot of problems with the freedom of the press,” Adib said.
NISS agents regularly seize whole print runs of newspapers over articles they deem to be sensitive.
Adib also voiced concern about the deportation of Sudanese asylum seekers from Jordan to Sudan.
Last Wednesday, Jordan began deporting some 800 Sudanese asylum seekers its information minister said were not refugees but were in the country for medical treatment.
“For the Jordanians, it is quite possible that they are convinced that these people do not fall in the classification of political refugees,” Adib said.
“But they should allow them to go wherever they want to.”
Many of the asylum seekers said they were from Sudan’s war hit border regions.
The western Darfur region has been wracked by conflict since 2003 when ethnic insurgents mounted a campaign against the Arab dominated Khartoum government, complaining of marginalisation.
In the southern Blue Nile and South Kordofan States, rebels have been waging a separate insurgency for similar reasons since 2011.