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The UPR Project at BCU: Sudan

This stakeholder report submitted to Sudan’s third cycle UPR is led by Dr Amna Nazir and builds upon our 2016 work with the Sudanese Human Rights Initiative in the UN, and our work under Foreign and Commonwealth funded projects in Sudan.

Sudan large


Consultancy background

The CHR has worked with the Sudanese Human Rights Initiative (SHRI) in Khartoum to help improve access to justice, freedom of religion, and provide capital defence in death penalty cases. The work has benefitted from three Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Development Grants, “Freedom of Religion and Belief” (2015-2016), “Promoting Freedom of Religion in Sudan,” (2019-2020), and “Strengthening Access to Justice and Safeguarding Human Rights in Sudan: A Strategic Capacity Building Package to Support the National Transition under the 2019 Draft Constitutional Declaration,” (2019-2020).

During the presession of the 25th Session of the UPR in Geneva in March 2016, we worked with UPRinfo, the International Federation for Human Rights, and African Center for Justice and Peace Studies.

We formed a cross-regional statement bringing to the attention of the presession of the Sudanese governmental prevention of some civil society organisations from attending the meeting. This unacceptable actions of the Sudanese government were highlighted by the Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, in his report, Cooperation with the United Nations, its representatives and mechanisms in the field of human rights, Human Rights Council, 33rd Session, 14 August 2016.

In March 2021, the UPR Project at BCU and Sudanese Human Rights Initiative submitted a joint report to Sudan’s third cycle UPR. This Stakeholder Report focuses on four themes: (1) capital punishment; (2) unlawful detention and torture; (3) freedom of religion or belief; and, (4) impunity for state actors. We make specific recommendations on these key human rights issues.

Download the stakeholder report

On the 13 August 2021, the UN’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights published its Stakeholder Summary Report for Sudan, citing the UPR Project at BCU and SHRI’s submission:

“JS21 noted that the legal conditions of arrest, whether undertaken by the police or by General Intelligence Services (GIS), remained a cause for concern. JS21 recommended to provide a public clarification of the extent of the powers of GIS office.” (para 32)

(Outcome of the review yet to be published)

About the UPR Project at BCU

The Centre for Human Rights has been engaging with the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) since 2016. Under the auspice of the Human Rights Council, the UPR is an intergovernmental process providing a review of the human rights record of all Member States. Through the UPR Project at BCU, the CHR engages with the mechanism through taking part in the UPR Pre-sessions, providing capacity building for UPR stakeholders and National Human Rights Institutions, and the filing of stakeholder reports in selected sessions.

The Pre-sessions are organised by the NGO, UPRinfo, which brings together UN Permanent Missions, national human rights institutions, and civil society organisations to discuss the key human rights issues in the member states to be considered in the UPR. It seeks to identify stakeholder needs within individual member states, in order to help ensure that stakeholder issues and the claimed human rights violations are adequately reported to the Pre-session to help inform the UPR in the Human Rights Council. The UPR Project has engaged in numerous countries’ Pre-sessions, including Sudan and Namibia, having discussions with government delegations and civil society organisations across the world, and impacting upon recommendations made at the UPR.

In September 2019, the UPR Project at BCU submitted its first stakeholder report to the USA’s UPR. Since then, we have submitted reports to the UPRs of multiple countries, including Myanmar, Namibia, Eswatini, Sudan, Thailand, Papua New Guinea, South Sudan, and the Syrian Arab Republic. Our reports are frequently cited by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.