Sudan : Incommunicado detention of 8 human rights defenders, lawyer and journalists, and arbitrary detention of a journalist and human rights defender for participating in peaceful protests

08/02/2018
Urgent Appeal

SDN 002 / 0218 / OBS 017
Incommunicado detention /
Ill-treatment /
Arbitrary detention
Sudan
February 8, 2018

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a partnership of 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 Center for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS) about the incommunicado detention of Ms. Nahid Jabrallah, Director of the Sima Centre for Training and Protection of Women and Children’s Rights based in Khartoum, Mr. Mohamed Abdallah Aldouma, Chairperson of the Darfur Bar Association, Mr. Salih Mahmoud Osman, Vice-Chairperson of the Darfur Bar Association, Ms. Hanan Hassan Khalifa, human rights lawyer, Ms. Rawa Jaafar Bakhit, advocate for the rights of displaced families, Mr. Amjed Fareed, blogger and human rights defender, Mr. Ahmed Jadeen, journalist with Aljareeda newspaper, and Mr. Mohammed Abdulmonim, freelance journalist, as well as of the arbitrary detention of Ms. Amel Habani, award-winning journalist and Coordinator in the No Oppression Against Women Initiative in Sudan. They are reportedly all detained in relation to their participation to nation-wide peaceful protests against rising commodity prices, which has resulted in the arrest of several human rights defenders and civil society leaders. Yet no charges against them have been levelled to date.

According to the information received, on January 16, 2018, Ms. Nahid Jabrallah and Ms. Amel Habani were arrested in Khartoum as they were taking part in such peaceful protests. Both remain detained by the National Intelligence Security Service (NISS) at the Omdurman Women’s Prison, in Khartoum. Moreover, Ms. Nahid Jabrallah has been detained incommunicado since her arrest. It has further been reported that her health conditions are particularly delicate as she was involved in a car accident prior to her arrest.

Acts of ill-treatment against Ms. Amel Habani have been reported as she was allegedly beaten with an electric rod during interrogation. On January 29, 2018, she was allowed a visit from her mother and her two children in the presence of NISS agents but was denied a visit from her husband and does not have access to her lawyer. A constitutional appeal contesting the lawfulness of her detention was filed on February 5, 2018 on her behalf against the Government of Sudan and the NISS.

On January 17, 2018, Ms. Rawa Jaafar Bakhit and Mr. Mohamed Abdallah Aldouma were arrested as they were taking part in other protests in Omdurman. They remain detained incommunicado respectively at the Omdurman Women’s Prison, in Khartoum, and at Shalla prison, in North Darfur, where Mr. Mohamed Abdallah Aldouma was transferred on January 26.

On January 18, 2018, Mr. Amjed Fareed was arrested from his home in Khartoum and has since been detained incommunicado within the NISS premises in Khartoum.

On January 31, 2018, Ms. Hanan Hassan Khalifa was detained in Khartoum Bahri at a police/NISS checkpoint in the main street targeting the people heading to join a protest. She is still detained incommunicado the Omdurman Women’s Prison, in Khartoum.

On the same day, Mr. Ahmed Jadeen and Mr. Mohammed Abdulmonim were arrested in Khartoum Bahri while they were covering protests. Both journalists had been monitoring and documenting cases of detainees in connection with the protests. They are being detained at the NISS political section in Khartoum Bahari.

On February 1, 2018, Mr. Salih Mahmoud Osman was arrested from his office in Khartoum and has been detained incommunicado within the NISS premises in Khartoum since.

The Observatory fears that these arrests and detentions occur in reaction to nation-wide demonstrations that began on January 6, 2018 and were set off by the announcement of Sudan’s 2018 budget and the lifting of subsidies and measures, effectively tripling Sudan’s U.S. dollar exchange rate and increasing the price of basic commodities. Sudanese authorities have carried out a campaign of massive arrests and detentions, including political party leaders, journalists, students, human rights defenders and other individuals for their involvement in the protests. The police and the NISS have used excessive force to disperse and arrest protesters, including the reported use of tear gas and beatings with sticks and water hose pipes [1].

The Observatory strongly condemns the incommunicado detention of Ms. Nahid Jabrallah, Mr. Mohamed Abdallah Aldouma, Mr. Salih Mahmoud Osman, Ms. Hanan Hassan Khalifa, Ms. Rawa Jaafar Bakhit, Mr. Amjed Fareed, Mr. Ahmed Jadeen, and Mr. Mohammed Abdulmonim, which significantly enhances vulnerability to ill-treatment, as well as the arbitrary detention of Ms. Amel Habani, as they clearly aim at punishing their peaceful and legitimate human rights activities.

The Observatory urges Sudanese authorities to immediately and unconditionally release them, and in the meantime to guarantee their physical and psychological integrity and their right to a fair trial, including unhindered access to their lawyers and families.

Actions requested:

Please write to the authorities of Sudan asking them to:

i. Guarantee the physical and psychological integrity of Ms. Nahid Jabrallah, Mr. Mohamed Abdallah Aldouma, Mr. Salih Mahmoud Osman, Ms. Hanan Hassan Khalifa, Ms. Rawa Jaafar Bakhit, Mr. Amjed Fareed, Mr. Ahmed Jadeen, and Mr. Mohammed Abdulmonim and Ms. Amel Habani, as well as of all human rights defenders in Sudan;

ii. Immediately and unconditionally release Ms. Nahid Jabrallah, Mr. Mohamed Abdallah Aldouma, Mr. Salih Mahmoud Osman, Ms. Hanan Hassan Khalifa, Ms. Rawa Jaafar Bakhit, Mr. Amjed Fareed, Mr. Ahmed Jadeen, and Mr. Mohammed Abdulmonim and Ms. Amel Habani, and all detained human rights defenders in Sudan as their arbitrary detention is merely aimed at punishing them for their legitimate human rights activities;

iii. In the meantime, guarantee the right to due process and fair trial of Ms. Nahid Jabrallah, Mr. Mohamed Abdallah Aldouma, Mr. Salih Mahmoud Osman, Ms. Hanan Hassan Khalifa, Ms. Rawa Jaafar Bakhit, Mr. Amjed Fareed, Mr. Ahmed Jadeen, and Mr. Mohammed Abdulmonim and Ms. Amel Habani, including the unhindered access to their lawyers and family;

iv. Carry out an immediate, independent and impartial investigation into alleged above-mentioned acts of ill-treatment against Ms. Amel Habani in order to bring all those responsible before a competent tribunal in accordance with international standards ;

v. Put an end to all forms of harassment, including at the judicial level, against Ms. Nahid Jabrallah, Ms. Amel Habani, Ms. Hanan Hassan Khalifa and Ms. Rawa Jaafar Bakhit and all human rights defenders in Sudan so that they are able to carry out their work without hindrance or fear of reprisals;

vi. Conform with the provisions of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 9, 1998, especially Articles 1, 6(c) and 12.2; and

vii. More generally, ensure in all circumstances the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and with international and regional human rights instruments ratified by Sudan.

Addresses:

· H.E Mr. Omar Hassan Ahmad Al-Bashir, President of Sudan, Fax: +249183783223; Email: info@presidency.gov.sd
· Dr Idris Ibrahim Jameel, Minister of Justice, Fax: +24983791544 / +249183764168 / + 249183770883; Email: moj@moj.gov.sd
· Mr. Ibrahim Ahmed Ghandour, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Fax:+249183772941
· Gen. Dr. Hamid Manan Mohamed, Minister of Interior, Fax: +249183779383 / 249183776554; Email: ministry@mfa.gov.sd
· Advisory Council for Human rights, Rapporteur, Fax: + 249183770883
· H.E. Mr. Mustafa Osman Ismail Elamin, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of the Republic of Sudan United Nations in Geneva, Fax: +41227312656 / +41227161970; Email: mission.sudan@bluewinch.ch ,
· Embassy of Sudan in Brussels, Fax: +3226483499; Email: sudanbx@yahoo.com

Please also write to the diplomatic missions or embassies of Sudan in your respective country.

***
Geneva-Paris, February 8, 2018

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (the Observatory) was created in 1997 by the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and the FIDH. The objective of this programme is to intervene to prevent or remedy situations of repression against human rights defenders. OMCT and FIDH are both members of ProtectDefenders.eu, the European Union Human Rights Defenders Mechanism implemented by international civil society.

To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line:
· E-mail: Appeals@fidh-omct.org
· Tel and fax OMCT + 41 22 809 49 39 / + 41 22 809 49 29
· Tel and fax FIDH + 33 1 43 55 25 18 / +33 1 43 55 18 80

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