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Sudan must end repression and let monitors in, says U.N. rights boss

GENEVA (Reuters) - Sudanese authorities must let in human rights monitors, end repression of protesters and restore the internet connection, U.N. human rights boss Michelle Bachelet said on Monday.

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Her office had received reports that more than 100 protesters were killed and many more injured when security forces raided a peaceful sit-in outside the defence ministry in Khartoum on June 3, she said.

Sudan’s uprising “has been met with a brutal crackdown by the security forces this month,” Bachelet said in a speech to the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva.

“We have received allegations of rape and sexual abuse of both women and men during the crackdown, as well as information alleging that hundreds of protesters may be missing,” she said.

There was no immediate reaction from Sudan’s military rulers who overthrew president Omar al-Bashir in April after weeks of street protests against his rule.

Protest and opposition groups then pressed the ruling military to hand over power to civilians, and kept up their demonstrations, including the sit-in, to press their case.

The military denied raiding the sit-in this month and said a crackdown on criminals nearby had spilled over to the protest camp. It said some officers has been detained for presumed responsibility and it still planned to hand over power after elections.

Human Rights Watch called for the council to investigate violations committed since the protests against Bashir started in December, with a special focus on the June 3 raid.

“There has been horrific footage coming out, with tents being set ablaze with people inside, tear gas, bullets and of course that resulted in over 100 deaths and many hundreds injured, people being prevented from receiving treatment, medical staff being attacked, and a full range of violations,” Laila Matar of Human Rights Watch said.

Bashir, who is in detention, has been charged with incitement and involvement in the killings of protesters. He was also charged a week ago with corruption-related offences.

Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; editing by Larry King and Andrew Heavens