The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Sudan.
Description of the situation:
The Observatory has been informed by the African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS) about the arbitrary arrest and subsequent release of Mr. Faisal Mohamed Salih, a journalist who regularly signs human rights related articles.
According to the information received, on May 8, 2012 at 12.45 pm, Mr. Faisal Mohamed Salih was arrested at his residence by National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) agents in Khartoum. He was released the same day at 5 pm but was summoned to appear the following day at 10 am, for further investigation.
Since April 25, 2012, Mr. Salih has been summoned to appear every day at NISS offices in relation to comments he made on Al Jazeera TV on April 19, 2012 on the humanitarian situation in South Kurdofan and Blue Nile in reference to a speech made by the Sudanese President, Mr. Omar Al Beshir on the conflict in Heglig. In his comments, he expressed concern that the positions taken at the time by the parties involved risked to strain the political, security and military situation and entail more humanitarian and human rights violations. He was however not questioned while in the NISS office.
On May 1, 2012, he asked for a written notification of the reasons for the daily questioning. In addition, he said that he would stop coming everyday to the NISS office. He only received an assurance that the 10-day questioning would come to an end on May 6. He was also threatened with “consequences” if he were to stop reporting at the NISS office. On May 7, Mr. Salih agreed to go to the NISS Office for the last time and published on Facebook detailed accounts of his humiliating experience over the past week.
The Observatory recalls that Mr. Salih had already been subjected to judicial harassment on charges of “defamation” in 2011 after denouncing the rape of a Sudanese female activist, Ms. Safia Ishag Mohamed, while in the custody of the NISS . The defamation case is still pending.
The Observatory calls on the Sudanese authorities to put an end to the judicial harassment faced by. Mr. Salih as it seems to merely aim at disrupting and sanctioning his human rights activities.
The Observatory urges the authorities of Sudan to:
i. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Faisal Mohamed Salih, as well as all human rights defenders in Sudan;
ii. Put an end to the harassment against Mr. Faisal Mohamed Salih, as well as against all human rights defenders in Sudan, and ensure in all circumstances that they are able to carry out their work without hindrances;
iii. Conform in any circumstances with the provisions of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, in particular its Article 1, which states that “everyone has the right, individually or in association with others, to promote the protection and realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels”, and its Article 12.2 which provides that “the State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration”;
iv. Respect human rights and fundamental freedoms, in accordance with international human rights standards and international instruments ratified by Sudan.
· Mr. President Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir, Office of the President, People’s Palace, PO Box 281, Khartoum, Sudan, Fax: + 249 183 783223
· Mr. Mohammed Boushara Dossa, Minister of Justice, Ministry of Justice, PO Box 302, Khartoum, Sudan; Fax: 249 183 764 168 / +249 183 770 883; Email: email@example.com
· Mr. Ali Ahmed Karti, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs/External Relations, PO Box 873, Khartoum, Sudan, Fax: 249183772941
· Mr. Ibrahim Mahmoud Ahmed, Minister of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Interior, PO Box 873, Khartoum, Sudan, Fax: +249 183 779383 / +249 183 776 554; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
· Advisory Council for Human Rights, Rapporteur, PO Box 302, Khartoum, Sudan, Fax: +249 183 77 08 83
· Permanent Mission of the Republic of Sudan to the United Nations in Geneva, Avenue Blanc 51-53 (3rd Floor), 1202 Geneva, Switzerland, Tel: +41 22 731 26 63, Fax: +41 22 731 26 56 / +41 22 716 19 70, Email: email@example.com
· Embassy of Sudan in Brussels, Avenue F.D. Roosevelt 124, 1050 Brussels, Belgium. Tel.:0032 (2) 647 51 59 / 0032 (2) 647 94 94, Fax: 0032 (2) 648 34 99, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please also write to diplomatic representations of Sudan in your respective countries.
Paris-Geneva, May 10, 2012
Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.
The Observatory, a FIDH and OMCT venture, is dedicated to the protection of Human Rights Defenders and aims to offer them concrete support in their time of need.
To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line:
· E-mail: Appeals@fidh-omct.org
· Tel and fax FIDH + 33 (0) 1 43 55 25 18 / +33 1 43 55 18 80
· Tel and fax OMCT + 41 (0) 22 809 49 39 / + 41 22 809 49 29