Organisations request UN attention to on-going criminalisation of Sudanese defenders who may face death penalty

Open Letter

(Geneva, Paris) 38 organisations co-signed a letter yesterday addressed to several United Nations (UN) Special Procedures regarding 10 staff members and affiliates of the Centre for Training and Human Development (TRACKs) in Sudan, who are accused, among other charges, of crimes against the State, which carry the death penalty, in two overlapping cases.

Among the human rights defenders accused, TRACKs Director Khalafalla al Afif Mukhtar, trainer Midhat Afif al-Deen Hamdan, and the director of Alzarqa Organisation for Rural Development, Mustafa Adam, have been arbitrarily detained for over six months. The letter calls upon the UN to urge the Government of Sudan to immediately and unconditionally release the three human rights defenders and drop all charges against them.

«The charges against TRACKs staff and affiliates are spurious and aim solely at sanctioning the peaceful exercise of their work in favour of human rights, democratic principles, and peace and security in Sudan. The evidence presented by the Prosecutor against the defendants is absolutely unconvincing as to how TRACKs’ legitimate human rights work could possibly amount to crimes against the State»

our organisations

In one of the cases, the defendants have been accused of being responsible for the International Criminal Court’s indictment against Sudanese President Omar al Bashir and the application of US sanctions against Sudan, despite both events taking place years before the establishment of TRACKs in 2013. It has also been declared that TRACKs has been conducting work on behalf of, and has a fiscal relationship with, Al-Khatim Adlan Centre for Enlightenment & Human Development (KACE), a pro-democracy organisation that also works to promote multiculturalism in Sudan, which was closed down by the Sudanese authorities in 2012 and subsequently registered in Kampala, Uganda.

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