Darfur Women Action Group (DWAG) is gravely concerned with the recent systematic and escalated attacks on lawyers of the Sudanese Bar Association (SBA) in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan. These brutal acts of compounding violence, which variously involved both local police and lawyers aligned with the al-Bashir government, are a further reminder that the Sudanese junta continues to deprive the Sudanese people of their rights and voices as citizens.

Last Tuesday, members of the former regime’s lawyers’ syndicate violently assaulted members of the SBA. These lawyers, loyal to the dissolved National Congress Party (NCP) that Omar al-Bashir once headed, reportedly attacked the SBA committee, then at the Sudanese Lawyers’ House, with rocks, batons, and tear gas. Additionally, plainclothes armed groups fired shots in the vicinity.

The Tuesday attack followed the decision of the Transitional Sovereign Council’s Appeals Committee to reinstate a committee elected by the NCP-affiliated lawyers in 2018 and to annul the election of an SBA-affiliated steering committee that drafted a transitional constitution to end the current political crisis in Sudan. The SBA held a press conference on the same day to brief the public opinion about the decision of the Council.

At this conference, the SBA voiced its belief that there was no legal basis to the Committee’s choice and that said choice was also of questionable legality due to the Committee’s members being unknown and not formed by the judicial authorities. The NCP-tied attackers, for their part, rejected the SBA lawyers’ draft constitution and accused foreign parties of being behind its provisions. In addition, on Thursday, policemen in charge of securing the building of the Sudanese Bar Association surrounded the building and tried to bar the lawyers from entry. These officers also prevented the lawyers from accessing food and water in order to force them to leave. The lawyers, however, refused to leave the House to the remaining members of the former regime.

DWAG strongly denounces this politically motivated violence. These attacks are part of a greater trend of violence that has occurred due to the assault on democracy by the junta and a lack of accountability for perpetrators. We at DWAG call on the international community to publicly denounce these attacks and implement strong accountability measures. We call on the global community, the United States, and the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to take the following measures to end Sudan’s gross human rights violations:

It is imperative that the US and the rest of the world stand with the people of Sudan and Darfur over the illegitimate government, by prioritizing accountability, human rights protection, and respect for human dignity in Sudan. We at DWAG ask our supporters to speak up, spread the word, and demand their leaders to act swiftly to end the suffering and bring lasting peace and stability to Sudan. It is by working together that we can make a difference and end the chaos and violence.