Sudan authorities Use rape and Violence to gag Women Rights Activists

Sudanese security forces have used sexual violence, intimidation, and other forms of abuse to silence female human rights defenders across the country, Human Rights Watch said in a report.

The organisation tasked the Khartoum government to investigate all alleged abuses, hold those responsible to account, and undertake legislative reforms to protect women’s rights.

In a 61-page report, the group documents efforts by Sudanese authorities to silence women who are involved in protests, rights campaigns, and other public action, and who provide social services and legal aid, as well as journalists.

Women engaged in these efforts are targeted with a range of abuses, from rape and rape threats, to deliberate efforts to tar their reputations. Their male counterparts may be less likely to experience some of these abuses.

Watch Video

“Sudanese women who defend human rights experience political repression like their male colleagues but are also vulnerable to sexual assault and intimidation because they are women,” said Daniel Bekele, Africa director at Human Rights Watch.

“Sudanese security officials often take advantage of discriminatory laws and social conventions to silence them,” he said

Human Rights Watch documented more than a dozen cases in which security officials raped or threatened to rape women activists, often in the context of arbitrary detention. The women were often warned not to speak of the abuse; some have fled the country.

Read Full Report