Sudan: Release of Mr. Osman Salih, Mr.Salih Mahmoud Osman and Mr. Amjed Fareed

17/04/2018
Urgent Appeal

New information
SDN 002 / 0218 / OBS 017.3
Release
Sudan
April 17, 2018

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a partnership of FIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), has received new information and requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Sudan.

New information:

The Observatory has been informed by the African Center for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS) about the release of Mr. Osman Salih, lawyer, Mr. Salih Mahmoud Osman, Vice-Chairperson of the Darfur Bar Association and Mr. Amjed Fareed, blogger and human rights defender.

According to the information received, on April 10, 2018, Mr. Osman Salih, Mr.Salih Mahmoud Osman, and Mr. Amjed Fareed were released from prison.

Mr. Osman Salih, Mr.Salih Mahmoud Osman and Mr. Amjed Fareed had been arrested by the National Intelligence Security Service (NISS) respectively on January 10, February 1 and January 18, 2018 and further detained without charges (see background information below).

The Observatory recalls that these arrests and detentions occurred 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 arbitrary arrests and detentions, including political party leaders, journalists, students, human rights defenders and other individuals for their involvement in the protests [1]. 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 [2] .

The Observatory welcomes the release of Mr. Osman Salih, Mr.Salih Mahmoud Osman and Mr. Amjed Fareed but firmly condemns their detention which was arbitrary and aimed at punishing their peaceful and legitimate human rights activities.

The Observatory also calls upon the Sudanese authorities to order an immediate, independent and impartial investigation into alleged acts of ill-treatment against Ms. Amel Habani in order to bring all those responsible before a competent tribunal in accordance with international standards. More generally, the Observatory calls on the Sudanese authorities to put an end to all forms of harassment, including at the judicial level, against all human rights defenders in Sudan so that they are able to carry out their work without hindrance or fear of reprisals.

Background information:

On January 10, 2018, Mr. Osman Salih had been arrested by the NISS along with seven other individuals from the Alhuria Square in Al Obeid, North Kordofan as they participated in a peaceful protest against the increase in prices of basic commodities. Subsequently, Mr. Osman Salih was brought to the NISS offices in Al Obeid together with the other individuals. The NISS in Al Obeid carried out the arrest and took them to their offices.

On January 15, 2018, the security committee of Al Obeid ordered that Mr. Osman Salish would be detained under the emergency law for six months and transferred from the NISS offices to Al Obeid prison. Two applications for family visits were denied.

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 were detained by the NISS at the Omdurman Women’s Prison, in Khartoum. Moreover, Ms. Nahid Jabrallah was detained incommunicado since her arrest despite her particularly fragile health situation 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 did not have access to her lawyer while detained. 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 and is still pending to date.

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. Mr. Mohamed Abdallah Aldouma was detained at Shalla prison, in North Darfur, where he has been transferred on January 26.

On January 18, 2018, Mr. Amjed Fareed was arrested from his home in Khartoum and further 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 and was further 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 were further detained at the NISS political section in Khartoum Bahari.

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

On February 12, 2018, Ms. Rawa Jaafar Bakhit was released from the Omdurman Women’s Prison, in Khartoum where she had been detained incommunicado since January 17, 2018.

On February 18, 2018, Ms. Nahid Jabrallah, Ms. Amel Habani and Ms. Hanan Hassan Khalifa were released following a NISS press conference atKober Prison in Khartoum Bahari, where they had been transferred earlier on the same day for that occasion. All three were previously held at the Omdurman Women’s Prison, in Khartoum where they had been detained by the NISS. Ms. Nahid Jabrallah and Ms. Amel Habani had been arrested in Khartoum on January 16, 2018 while they were taking part in peaceful protests. Ms. Hanan Hassan Khalifa had been arrested on January 31, 2018, in Khartoum Bahri at a police/NISS checkpoint in the main street targeting the people heading to join a protest. Ms. Nahid Jabrallah and Ms. Hanan Hassan Khalifa were detained incommunicado and acts of ill-treatment against Ms. Amel Habani had been reported during her interrogation.

On February 19, 2018, Mr. Mohamed Abdallah Aldouma was released from Kober Prison where he was transferred three hours before from Shalla prison, North Darfur, after more than a month of arbitrary incommunicado detention.

On February 25, 2018, Mr. Ahmed Jadeen was released.

On March 11, 2018, Mr. Osman Salih was transferred to the police hospital in Al Obeid due to his deteriorating health conditions. His wife was able to visit him although only in presence of a NISS official who kept him under constant surveillance. It has been reported that Mr. Osman Salih is diabetic and only had access to his medicine after three days in detention.

Actions requested:

Please write to the authorities of Sudan asking them to:

  1. 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;
  1. Put an end to all forms of harassment, including at the judicial level, against all human rights defenders in Sudan so that they are able to carry out their work without hindrance or fear of reprisals;
  1. 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
  1. 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.

***
Paris-Geneva, April 17, 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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