WASHINGTON, D.C. /eNewsChannels/ — The United States Government expresses its concern over a pattern of increasing political repression and the deteriorating environment for civil and political rights in Khartoum, including arrests of opposition leaders, journalists, and peaceful demonstrators.

In mid-May, Sudanese authorities arrested two prominent opposition leaders, releasing one after several hours while they continue to hold the other in detention. We are also troubled by the closure of the Rai al-Sha’ab newspaper, and the arrests and alleged mistreatment of Rai al-Sha’ab staff members. Separately, authorities also prevented several activists from departing the country to participate in the International Criminal Court review conference in Kampala, Uganda. In June, authorities also arrested several individuals in connection with a doctors’ strike, and police reportedly injured at least 12 persons while violently dispersing a related peaceful protest.

We call on the Government of Sudan to ensure that those in custody are afforded due process and receive access to medical care. We also call for the Sudanese security agencies to cease any censorship of media.

The United States is concerned by the continued harassment of journalists, human rights advocates, and non-governmental organizations in Sudan and reminds the Government of Sudan of its international obligations to respect human rights, including freedoms of assembly and of the press.

Tabitha Angel Berg is an aspiring author and musician and joined eNewsChannels in Nov. 2006 as an editor and mistress of the WP-based content management system (CMS). She likes ferrets better than cats and tea better than coffee, and is a devout iPad evangelist. Nobody pays her to like Dr. Pepper, but wouldn't you like to be a pepper, too?