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Organisation dedicated to ending violence against women closed by Sudanese authorities

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) denounces the closure of the Salema Center for Women's Research and Studies, by Sudanese authorities in Khartoum, along with its evacuation, without providing any grounds for doing so.

Sudanese authorities sent a letter to the center on 24 June 2014, informing it of its closure and the cancellation of its registration. The letter also called for the immediate evacuation of the center. Such a matter was met with rejection by the center's employees, due to its illegality. On their part, the Sudanese authorities addressed their rejection by besieging the center.

The Salema Center for Women's Research and Studies is one of the most prominent human rights organizations that is concerned with women's social and political issues in Sudanese society. It is under the management of Fahima Hashem, one of the most prominent figures in the feminist field in Sudan. The center has participated in many important events concerning political and social affairs in Sudan. For example, it took part in preparing a memorandum to amend the Child Law in Sudan and submitting a draft for an alternative law on 25 February 2009. In addition, there were ongoing campaigns to eradicate the phenomenon of circumcision and raising awareness about its harm. It also ran political awareness campaigns for Sudanese women and how to vote in the elections.

Moreover, the Sudanese Women Empowerment for Peace Movement (SuWEP), which emanated from the Salema Center, participated in many human rights events.

On the political level, the center criticized the US Carter Center during its observation of the Sudanese elections in 2010, when the latter described the elections process as fair and transparent. The center also slammed the political climate during which the elections were carried out in, monitoring multiple flagrant trespasses that transpired during the Sudanese elections in 2010.

Through its action, the Salema Center seeks to eradicate violence against women in Sudan.

"Since a period [of time] that is not short, civil society organizations and human rights entities have been undergoing oppression [and] severe intransigence, by the Sudanese authorities, together with continual harassment, with the aim of hindering the human rights role that these organizations and centers play in order to confront and monitor the authorities' trespasses and violations," ANHRI says.

ANHRI calls on Sudanese authorities to reverse its decision to shut down the Salema Center for Women's Research and Studies and to abide by the law that doesn't allow the authorities to close civil society organizations without a reasoned judicial decision.

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