McGovern Statement on State of Emergency Declaration in Sudan

WASHINGTON -- Today, Congressman James P. McGovern (D-MA) Chairman of the House Rules Committee and Co-Chair of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, released the following statement after Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir of Sudan imposed a yearlong state of emergency and dissolved the federal and state governments of Sudan on Friday, February 22:

"For decades, Omar al-Bashir- who is wanted by the International Criminal Court for genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity-has violated the Sudanese people's basic human rights, supported extremist groups, repressed religious minorities, and stolen his nation's wealth while most of its people live in poverty. Sudan is a kleptocracy, and corruption and mismanagement by Bashir and his regime have impoverished the Sudanese people, with only few wealthy and connected insiders amassing immense wealth.

“For the past several weeks, the Sudanese people have been protesting economic hardship, and an end to Bashir’s repressive politics. They have been met with excessive violence and mass arrests, sending many to the infamous Ghost Houses, harsh detention centers where torture is common. On Friday, Bashir imposed a year-long state of emergency.

"I was deeply disappointed when President Trump provided permanent sanctions relief to the government to the government of Sudan. I believe the so-called progress he cited has been minimal, especially in the area of full, unrestricted delivery of humanitarian aid to all regions of Sudan.

"Given the courageous protests now taking place inside in Sudan, it would be unconscionable for the Trump Administration to remove Sudan from the State Sponsor of Terrorism list or provide Khartoum with economic support or additional sanctions relief. We must pursue a policy that is informed by the history and context of Sudan, insists on foundational change, and is backed by strong financial pressure and real incentives.

"I remain committed to pursuing such fundamental transformation that recognizes and respects the basic human dignity and rights of all the people of Sudan."