KHARTOUM, Sudan, April 4, 2018/APO Group/ —
The African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies has serious safety concerns for the continued arbitrary arrests and incommunicado detention of individuals including human rights defenders/activists, political opposition members and leaders in connection with the 2018 anti-austerity protests as well as on basis of their political affiliation. ACJPS has continued to monitor the arbitrary arrests and detention as well as ill-treatment of detainees including denying them the necessary health care.
In this release, ACJPS documents travel bans imposed on three activists as they attempted to exit the country at the Khartoum International Airport, arbitrary arrests and detention including incommunicado; re-arrest of students released on bail; update on release of detainees and concerns raised about the safety and well-being of those in detention.
ACJPS has serious physical safety concerns for 11 individuals including the eight students who are being held at an unknown location.The lack of access for lawyers and family members to the detainees, together with the well-documented use by the NISS of torture and other forms of ill-treatment against detainees, particularly whilst held in unknown locations, gives rise to serious concerns for their safety. Incommunicado detention significantly enhances vulnerability to torture and other ill-treatment.
On 15 March 2018, the European Parliament passed a resolution on Sudan which, among others, called for the immediate and unconditional release of human rights defenders, civil society activists and opposition activists who are being held solely as a result of their legitimate and peaceful work in defence of human rights and democracy. The European Parliament deplored the targeting abuse of all human rights defenders and activists in Sudan, and called on the Sudanese authorities to guarantee in all circumstances that they are able to carry out their legitimate activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions, including judicial harassment.
ACJPS reiterates it calls to the Government of Sudan to guarantee the physical safety of all detainees, grant them immediate and unequivocal access to their lawyers, family members and medical services, and release them in the absence of valid legal charges consistent with international standards. If such charges exist, the detainees should be brought promptly before an impartial, independent and competent tribunal and guarantee their procedural rights at all times. We also call on authorities to inform the family members of those held in unknown locations, of the whereabouts of their loved ones.
Travel ban imposed against activists
On 14 March 2018, the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) of Khartoum banned Mr. Al-Sadig Adam Abdalla from traveling to France through Cairo to attend a Sudan Call meeting, without giving any reason. Mr. Al-Sadig is a member of the opposition Umma National party as well a member of Sudanese Civil Society Initiative.
On 8 March 2018, the NISS of Khartoum banned Mr. Mohamed Abdalla Eldouma, the chairperson of Darfur Bar Association from traveling to Cairo, Egypt. Mr. Eldouma was stopped at the Khartoum Airport and his passport was confiscated from him by the NISS. He tried to explain that he was going for a medical check but the authorities ignored his explanation. Mr. Eldouma had recently been released from custody on 19 February 2018 after spending a month in detention for his participation in a protest in Omdurman that took place on 17 January 2018.
On 6 March 2018, the NISS of Khartoum banned Dr. Mohamed Jalal Hashim, a professor and a member of Kajbar Dam committee, from traveling to Dubai, without giving any reason. Dr. Hashim was informed by the NISS at the Khartoum airport that he was not allowed to travel.
Arrests made in February and March 2018
On 12 March 2018, the NISS of Khartoum arrested four members of the Central Committee of the opposition Sudanese Communist Party from Sudanese Communist Party house in Khartoum II and detained them at the NISS office in Khartoum Bahri (near the Shandi bus station). They include:
Mr. Fathi Alfadul, the spokesperson of the Central Committee, he was released on 25 March 2018.
Mr. Ali Alkenin, he is being held incommunicado.
That same day, 12 March 2018, the NISS of Khartoum also arrested two other members of the opposition Sudanese Communist Party from Alsafia neighborhood and detained them at the NISS office in Khartoum Bahri (near the Shandi bus station). They include:
Mr. Taj Elsir Osman Babo, a member of the Central Committee. He was released the next day, 13 March 2018.
Mr. Samir Khalil, he is being held incommunicado.
On 25 February 2018, at 7 PM, the NISS of Al Obeid in North Kordofan state raided a meeting of an alliance of opposition party members that was taking place at the Sudanese Communist Party House. Six of the members present were arrested and transferred to the NISS office in Al Obeid. At 10.30 PM, five members were released from custody whilst Mr. Mawia Mukhtar, a member of Sudanese Communist Party remained in custody. On 26 March 2018, he was transferred to Kober Prison in Khartoum from Zalingei prison in Central Darfur.
The names of the released detainees include:
Khalid Daoud, a member of the opposition Baath Arabic Party
Hamid Jaja, a member of the opposition Baath Arabic Party
Khalid Ali, (m) , a member of the opposition Sudanese Congress Party (SCP)
Bashir Alsadig, a member of the opposition Baath Arabic Party “Alasl”
Mohamed Zain Alabddien, a member of the opposition Umma National Party
On 23 February 2018, the NISS of Khartoum arrested Mr. Khalid Omer, the Deputy President of the opposition Sudanese Congress Party from his family home located in Arkaweet neighborhood in Khartoum.
Darfurian Students re-arrested after release on bail
On 23 February 2018, the NISS of Khartoum re-arrested eight Darfurian University students without any reasons given and detained them at an unknown location. The students had recently been released on bail on 18 February 2018. The students were part of a group of 80 students who had been arrested from the central bus station in Khartoum Bahri on 13 September 2017 for their participation in a public speech. The group was then detained incommunicado at the NISS political section in Khartoum Bahri. On or about 18 February, they were transferred to the Office of the Prosecutor and charged with crimes under article 69 (disturbance of public peace) and 77 (public nuisance) of the Sudanese Criminal Act, 1991 and released on cash bail of 100,000 Sudanese Pounds (approximately $5500).
The details of the re-arrested students are: