Leaving Islam



For Immediate Release

Contact: Joyce Koo, 617-426-8161

Anti-Slavery Group Condemns Silence on UN Upgrade of Sudan
Former Slave: "UN Silence on Jihad-Slavery in Sudan Outrageous"

Wednesday, April 30, 2003 (Boston) -- The American Anti-Slavery Group applauds
the White House for denouncing Cuba's re-election to the United Nation Human
Rights Commission, (UNHRC) but is deeply troubled over the silence in
Washington over the commission's vote to upgrade Sudan, a nation that enslaves

Dr. Charles Jacobs, president of the American Anti-Slavery Group, says: "It is
outrageous that UNHCR embraced Cuba a week after Havana denied it access to
investigate the Castro regime's arrest of dissidents, but it is more shocking
still that the world was silent when the UNHRC upgraded Sudan, a slaving

Two weeks ago, the Rights Commission voted to upgrade Sudan from a "country
with special problems," to a status where special human rights monitoring is no
longer required. "Because of that vote, the UN will no longer monitor the slave
trade," Jacobs said. "The world body has closed its eyes to human bondage."

Sudan has been condemned for genocide and for the enslavement of blacks by the
US Congressional Black Caucus, by the entire Congress, and by President Bush.
The American Anti-Slavery Group opposes the UN upgrade of Sudan, which has done
nothing in the past year to warrant improvement of its status.  UN Special
Rapporteur Baum noted in a March 28, 2003 report that "human rights abuses have
not decreased" and "the overall human rights situation has not improved

Francis Bok, an escaped slave from Sudan, says: "I was captured in a slave raid
and held as a slave for 10 years. I am shocked that the UN would say there is
no slavery in Sudan."

"We understand that the Bush Administration is focused on Iraq, but the
Administration needs to speak up forcefully now against the UN's whitewashing
of a slaving regime," says Jacobs. "America is a nation that tore itself apart
over the issue of black slavery.  Surely we cannot maintain silence in the face
of an immoral farce where slavers are rewarded by the UN."

Khartoum has been conducting a self-declared "jihad" against the country's
southern African Christian and animist population which has resulted in the
death of two million people, the enslavement of tens of thousands, and the
displacement of nearly 5 million people.

Libya, the chair of the UN Human Rights Commission, has been linked in the
trafficking of Sudanese slaves into its borders. "It is no wonder Cuba is
embraced: The human rights commission is now headed by slavers and oppressors,"
observed Jacobs.

Founded in 1994, the American Anti-Slavery Group (AASG) is America's leading
human rights organization combating modern-day slavery worldwide. Based in
Boston, the historic center of the American abolitionist movement, AASG works
to extend the wave of emancipation to the 27 million people trapped in slavery

Charles Jacobs and Francis Bok are available for interviews.

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