December 16, 2019

KHARTOUM, Sudan—During the morning shift at Omdurman Teaching Hospital, sick people group under trees in the courtyard, awaiting admission. There are 645 beds and upwards of 1,500 patients each day. Inside, Mohammed Elhag Hamed brought a manila folder over to me. The documents inside formed a paper trail of corruption. They showed how the political […]

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Bringing the Rule of Law to Sudan

Last week, as Americans grappled with potential impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump, and lawyers on the other side of the Atlantic digested the British Supreme Court’s prorogation decision, Nasredeen Abdulbari, Sudan’s new minister of justice, appeared before the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva to recount the seismic shifts afoot in his country, too: “As […]

Seize this Moment in Sudan

Sudan is in the midst of a once-in-a-generation moment. Courageous and persistent pro-democracy protesters, who broke the grip on power that president Omar Hassan al-Bashir had held for three decades, have now succeeded in bringing civilian reformers into leadership positions. The significance of this moment might be overlooked by anyone who expects a democratic transition to be […]

Commission on Unalienable Rights

On May 30, without fanfare, a notice of intent to establish a State Department Commission on Unalienable Rights was published in the Federal Register. The stated purpose of the Commission is to provide “fresh thinking about human rights” and propose “reforms of human rights discourse where it has departed from our nation’s founding principles of natural law […]

It Takes a Village to Make a Monster

The world loves to hate a villain, and Sudan’s recently ousted president, Omar al-Bashir, is a villain worthy of despise. During his 30 years of autocratic rule, he presided over the deaths of millions of Sudanese citizens, oversaw the establishment of proxy militia that have devastated communities across the country, and fostered a ruthless security […]

Sudan’s new ruler is no democrat – and he has Darfur to answer for

After 30 years, President Omar al Bashir is no longer the ruler of Sudan. Following months of protests, the Sudanese military has taken charge of the country. This marks the fifth military coup in Sudan’s post-independence history. And while Bashir’s downfall is an extraordinary development, there is a long way to go before the protesters’ […]

Sudan’s Unlawful State of Emergency

– With Nasredeen Abdulbari.  On February 22, Sudan’s embattled president, Omar al-Bashir declared a one-year, nation-wide state of emergency. He subsequently issued five decrees to implement the declaration that collectively curtail fundamental rights to a degree that is unprecedented in the post-independence history of Sudan. The state of emergency came during peaceful protests— started by […]

The Hidden Danger of User-Generated Evidence

In the summer of 2017, judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) took a remarkable step. For the first time, they issued an arrest warrant based primarily on video footage that a user posted to Facebook. It was a harbinger of the 21st Century forms of evidence that will soon flow into international courtrooms. The […]

She’s Credible, So Long As Her Attacker Is Not Our Guy

Dr. Christine Blasey Ford threw her life into turmoil yesterday to testify before the nation. Asked by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), with what degree of certainty she believed that Judge Brett Kavanaugh assaulted her, she responded: “One hundred percent.” Every senator voting to confirm Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court should be pushed to answer one […]

Time to Dust Off the War Crimes Act?

With Sarah Knuckey Former members of the U.S. military are present in armed conflicts across the globe. Working for private military contractors, they are typically tasked with training and advising foreign armies. But a Buzzfeed article published this week profiles a former U.S. Army lieutenant colonel who has reportedly taken on a commanding role within the United […]