FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 28, 2019
USCIRF Denounces Violence Against Demonstrators in Sudan
WASHINGTON, DC – The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) is concerned about the extreme violence against civilians in Sudan during more than four weeks of anti-government protests, and its potential negative implications for religious freedom. This crackdown on protests is consistent with the Sudanese government’s pattern of suppressing freedoms of speech, assembly, and religion or belief. The latest infringements on human rights include throwing tear gas canisters on protesters in and around mosques, thereby damaging religious structures and limiting the right of individuals to assemble at places of worship.
“USCIRF is deeply troubled by the events taking place in Sudan and condemns the unnecessary and extreme violence perpetrated by security services, including the use of live fire that has so far resulted in the death of at least 40 innocent civilians,” said USCIRF Chair Tenzin Dorjee. “We strongly call for increased efforts to protect religious freedom, the lives of innocent civilians, and their places of worship.”
USCIRF commends the U.S. government for urging the Sudanese government to respect and prioritize religious freedom and other basic human rights. In its 2018 Annual Report, USCIRF again recommended that the U.S. State Department designate Sudan as a “country of particular concern” (CPC) for engaging in systematic, ongoing, egregious violations of religious freedom, including arrests and detention of religious leaders, harassment of members of various Christian denominations, enforcement of public order laws, particularly on women, and destruction and confiscation church properties. The State Department has designated Sudan a CPC since 1999.
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) is an independent, bipartisan federal government entity established by the U.S. Congress to monitor, analyze and report on threats to religious freedom abroad. USCIRF makes foreign policy recommendations to the President, the Secretary of State and Congress intended to deter religious persecution and promote freedom of religion and belief. To interview a Commissioner, please contact USCIRF at Media@USCIRF.gov or Kellie Boyle at firstname.lastname@example.org or +1-703-898-6554.