UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet (Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images)

UN Human Rights Chief to Sudan: Release Detained Protesters

UN human rights head Michelle Bachelet has demanded that authorities in Sudan release those civilians arrested during some four months of anti-government protests that led to the military’s overthrow of President Omar al-Bashir on April 11. “This is a very critical, volatile moment for Sudan, and there is deep uncertainty and unease about the future,” Bachelet said in the statement. With Bashir out of power, Defense Minister Awad Mohamed Ahmed Ibn Auf went on TV to announce a state of emergency, a suspension of the country’s constitution and the imposition of two years of military rule, after which presidential elections would be held. Civilians had taken to the streets in jubilation at the news of Bashir’s overthrow, but their joy turned to anger upon hearing of the defense minister’s declaration. Bashir is under indictment by the International Criminal Court on charges of war crimes stemming from his handling of anti-government unrest in Sudan’s Darfur province a decade ago, but it remains unclear whether he’ll he handed over to the Hague.

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