Summary: 30 June 2012, Brussels - The spokesperson of Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the Commission, issued the following statement today on the crackdown on demonstrations in Sudan:
"The High Representative is concerned about the violent crackdown on demonstrations that have been taking place in Khartoum and other towns over the past week. Reports of arbitrary arrests and detentions, the mistreatment of demonstrators in government custody and the excessive use of force are of particular concern. The High Representative calls for the immediate release of those detained for peaceful protest and for the security forces to act with restraint and avoid the use of force in responding to peaceful demonstrations.
The High Representative is also concerned at growing levels of censorship and restrictions on the media and the political opposition in Sudan, including the detention of a number of journalists and political activists. The High Representative urges the Government of Sudan to respect the rights of its citizens to freedom of expression, freedom of the media and freedom of assembly.
The ongoing demonstrations highlight the importance of an inclusive national dialogue to address the needs and aspirations of all Sudanese citizens."