On April 3rd of this year, the Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) released a study that corroborates what many of us have been saying for about a decade: That the people of Sudan, in particular Darfur, have been enduring a constant attack that at best kills them and at worse leaves them facing a slow death, an ethnic cleansing. There have been numerous accounts of all type of torture imaginable perpetrated on the non-Arab speaking citizens of Sudan: rapes, beatings, electrocutions, gunshots, bombings, burnings, amputations and killings that, for reasons incomprehensible to me, the world has refused to act, react or admit that these atrocities are taking place under their watch for a decade. The governments of the “civilized” world have sided with China and Russia – the two major forces that are supporting Omar al-Bashir in his ethnic cleansing.
Perhaps I am being too harsh in saying that the world or governments are siding with China and Russia – but isn’t doing nothing the same as accepting? I can understand that there is too much at risk, the last thing anyone wants is a war, especially against these world superpowers; however, there is no excuse for us to continue conducting business with them as if they were not monsters against humanity. By continuing with “business as usual,” we are in a way helping perpetuate the massacre and we are supporting the tormentor.
The PHR's study might help to put pressure on those with the power to do something. So far, there has been no reliable proof that any of these atrocities were taking place, at least that is what the governments of the world have claimed up to now. This study will help shine a light on this matter that, perhaps because it is so atrocious, others have refused to accept it and what’s more important, do something about it.
This study reveals that nearly half of the women treated were victims of rape or gang rape. There were even reports of men that were sexually assaulted and some even raped. The evidence also showed that injuries inflicted on these people were consistent and showed evidence of beatings, fires, amputations and all other forms of torture. We must remember the evidence at hand is only from those that survived or reached a medical center; how many others died on the field or on the way to the center are unknown. Every single piece of the evidence recorded and examined by PHR was consistent with the claims. Every single one. PHR stated in their study “Our findings show that in all of the medical records that contained sufficient detail, the medical evidence was considered to be at least consistent with (if not highly consistent with or virtually diagnostic of) the human rights violations disclosed by the patients.” Further in the study, PHR said, “Rape and other forms of sexual violence have been recognized as war crimes and crimes against humanity, as well as instruments of genocide.”
The study represents a milestone that will aid the International Criminal Courts in proceeding with more tangible proof and with any luck receive the support of other nations in the capture of Omar al-Bashir and put an end to his reign of terror.
There might be something worthwhile celebrating this Easter week: Hopefully these findings will mark the beginning of the end for al-Bashir and a new beginning for the people of Darfur.
I encourage the reader to look at the PHR’s study. Please, click here to read it.
To donate to the Save Darfur Organization, click here .
To donate to Amnesty International, click here.
To sign the International Petition for the People of Darfur, click here.