Sudanese Human Rights Monitor (SHRM) Releases a ‘briefing paper’ on the amendments to the General Intelligence Service Law

The Sudanese Human Rights Monitor (SHRM) has released a briefing paper examines the recent changes to the General Intelligence Service Law (amendments of 2024), which General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan endorsed in February 2024. This aligns with SHRM’s mission to monitor and analyze laws impacting human rights in Sudan.

The paper points out that these amendments lacked constitutional legitimacy following the 25 October 2022 military coup. These changes contravened Article 37 of the 2019 Constitutional Document, which limited the powers of the General Intelligence Service (GIS) “to gathering and analyzing information and providing it to the competent bodies” without the powers of arrest, investigation, or search.

The paper found that the amendments are inconsistent with the international human rights law. Sudan is already a party to several international human rights treaties, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which guarantee the fundamental rights of Sudanese citizens.

By the amendments under discussion, the GIS restored its ability to arrest, detain, and summon individuals, which could lead to human rights abuses reminiscent of the repressive era of Al Bashir.

The law now permits arbitrarily detaining individuals for up to four months without judicial review, blatantly violating basic rights and freedoms. They further immunize the GIS members from legal repercussions of their acts, significantly increasing the likelihood of impunity.

By this brief, SHRM aims to encourage public debate about these amendments to ensure full respect for the e[ective constitutional framework and Sudan’s international obligations.

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