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UN calls for independent probe into rape allegations in Sudan's anti-regime protests

Liz Throssell, spokesperson for the United Nations human rights office (OHCHR) [UN Multimedia]
Liz Throssell, spokesperson for the United Nations human rights office (OHCHR) [UN Multimedia]

The United Nations yesterday called on Sudanese authorities to conduct an "independent investigation" into allegations of sexual violence including rape and gang rape during mass anti-coup protests earlier this week.

Liz Throssell, spokesperson for the UN human rights office in Geneva, said the office has received disturbing reports alleging that 13 women and girls were raped or gang-raped in the demonstrations on Sunday in the capital, Khartoum.

There was no immediate comment from Sudan's government.

Throssell said women were reportedly sexually harassed while fleeing the area around the presidential palace in Khartoum when Sudanese forces fired tear gas and live ammunition to disperse the protests.

READ: Rape used for political, military goals in Tigray

"We urge a prompt, independent, and thorough investigation into the allegations of rape and sexual harassment, as well as the allegations of death and injury of protesters as a result of the unnecessary or disproportionate use of force, in particular use of live ammunition," she added.

"With further protests planned for this weekend and the weeks ahead, it is crucial that security forces guarantee and protect the right to peaceful assembly and act with full respect for international laws and standards regulating the use of force," she said.

On Sunday, thousands of Sudanese protesters took to the streets in Khartoum and across the country to demand civilian rule.

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