Omer Ismail to Testify on "Sudan: Human Rights and Sanctions"

Apr 4 2017 1:30 pm
America/New York
Date and Time: 
Tuesday, April 4, 1:30 - 3:30 p.m.
2255 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington D.C.

Please join the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission for a hearing on the recent easing of sanctions on Sudan and its effect on human rights.

The United States has enforced sanctions against Sudan through Executive Orders and congressionally-imposed legal restrictions since 1997. On January 13, 2017, President Obama signed Executive Order 13761, in effect lifting the trade embargo and unblocking frozen assets. This easing of sanctions allows for a six-month trial period so the U.S. can determine whether the lifting of sanctions should become permanent. In the interim, a General License provides temporary relief from the trade embargo.

Sanctions against Sudan were justified on the basis of the Sudanese government’s support for international terrorism and its egregious human rights violations, including genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, especially in Darfur, but also in the states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile. The Obama Administration’s decision to ease sanctions came about after determining Sudan had made progress over a six-month period in several areas, including cooperation with counterterrorism efforts, halting its interference in South Sudan, ceasing hostilities in conflict zones, and improving humanitarian access.

A key question remains – what is the measure of Sudan’s progress towards improvements on its human rights record since the easing of sanctions? Witnesses will present testimony informed by their human rights work in Sudan, and will discuss actions Sudan must take in order to justify the permanent lifting of sanctions.

Panel I
• Omer Ismail, Senior Advisor, The Enough Project
• Ken Isaacs, Vice President of Programs and Government Relations, Samaritan’s Purse
• Miles Windsor, Advocacy and Development Director, Middle East Concern
• Jehanne Henry, Senior Researcher, Africa Division, Human Rights Watch

This hearing is open to Members of Congress, congressional staff, the interested public, and the media. The hearing will be livestreamed via YouTube on the Commission website, For any questions, please contact Jamie Staley (for Mr. Hultgren) at (202-226-1516) or or Kimberly Stanton (for Mr. McGovern) at 202-226-6379 or

For more information, visit the Lantos Commission website.