Attacks on Civil Society continue in Sudan with closure of Salmmah Women’s Resource Centre
On 24 June 2014 the director of Salmmah Women’s Resource Center, Ms. Fahima Hashim was presented with a decree signed and stamped by the Sudanese Ministry of Justice, issuing an order for the cancellation of the registration license of the company and its immediate liquidation, and the appointment of a five-person committee to oversee the Company’s dissolution process. The decree failed to mention any reason behind this decision, noting that, Salmmah Women’s Resource Center is registered as a non-profit Company, in accordance with the Sudanese Companies Act of 1925. Whilst the decision to revoke the license of the Company may be within the law and jurisdiction of the Ministry of Justice, nonetheless, the execution of the order has not followed the due legal process and procedures. The dissolution committee was accompanied by regular clothed civilians who would not disclose their identity and who prevented any visitors (non-staff) from staying in the premises.
The Confederation of Sudanese Civil Society Organizations (CSCSO) condemns this most recent attack on civil society in Sudan, which represents a continuation of an undeclared policy, which seeks to harass and obstruct the work of civil society organizations, that are truly independent and actively working to promote human rights, raise awareness amongst citizens and establish democratic values and norms. The Confederation also cautions against the disregard of due legal process and procedures and its negative impact of undermining the credibility and confidence in the Sudanese legal and judicial system.
CSCSO regrets this incident which represents yet another contradictory act to the government’s professed policy of working to create a conducive environment for national dialogue in Sudan, and cautions against this continued trend of closures and harassment of civil society in Sudan. A trend which reached its zenith in late 2012, with the forcible and unjustifiable closures of a number of organizations, including Beit-al-Finoon, Arry Organization, Sudanese Studies Centre and Khatim Adlan Centre for Enlightenment and Human Development.
These actions represent a clear violation of the right of civil society organizations and cultural centers to practice legitimate activities and exercise their freedom of association, and their right to establish associations, as stipulated in the Interim Constitution of 2005. They are also in clear violation of Article 27-4 of the Constitution, which prohibits any infringement of the rights and freedoms enshrined in the Bill of Rights.
CSCSO calls for an urgent legal reform for all the current legislations that are incongruous to the Constitution and International Human Rights covenants that are embedded in it, and the immediate suppression of all forms of violations to freedom of expression and freedom of association.
Confederation of Sudanese Civil Society Organizations (CSCSO)
25th June 2014
The Confederation of Sudanese Civil Society Organizations (CSCSO) is an autonomous, independent and politically non-partisan body established to support and safeguards the space and rights of its member organizations. The CSCSO was established in July 2012 in response to the dwindling space and the restrictive measures being put on civil society in Sudan by authorities and regulatory bodies.
Salmmah Women’s resource Center was initiated by a group of leading Sudanese women in 1997 as a non-profit civil society organization specially dedicated to support women’s organizations and women’s issues, with special devotion to the combat of violence against women and to the acquisition of human rights.
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