Sudan: continued detentions without charges against Dr Amin Mekki Medani, Mr Farouq Abu Eissa, and Dr Farah Ibrahim Mohamed Alagar [Update]

12/01/2015
Press release

12 January 2015 - Update of the Open Letter concerning the continued detentions without charges of Dr Amin Mekki Medani, Mr Farouq Abu Eissa, and Dr Farah Ibrahim Mohamed Alagar by the Government of Sudan.

Dear Ms Alapini-Gansou, Ms Tlakula, Mr Mute, Mr Forst, Mr Kaye, Mr Nononsi ,Mr Andenas and Mr Mendez,

Further to the joint letter signed by fourteen organisations on 19 December 2014, the African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), and the World Organisation against Torture (OMCT) are writing to update you on the continued detention of human rights lawyer Dr Amin Mekki Medani , (m), 75 years of age, and activists Mr Farouq Abu Eissa (m), 78 years of age, and Dr Farah Ibrahim Mohamed Alagar, (m) 60 years of age, by the Government of Sudan. On 10 January 2015, the three men were charged under articles 50 (undermining the constitutional system) and 51 (waging war against the state) of the 1991 Sudanese Penal Code. Both charges carry the death penalty.

Dr Amin Mekki Medani, Mr Farouq Abu Eissa, and Dr Farah Ibrahim Mohamed Alagar were held incommunicado by the NISS until 21 December 2014, when they were transferred from NISS custody to Kober Prison in Khartoum. The same day, Dr Farah Ibrahim Mohamed Alagar was allowed to receive a 30 minute visit from his family. The visit was attended by the NISS, who reportedly ordered him not to discuss the treatment and conditions of his detention.

On 22 December 2014, the three men were permitted to meet with a team of lawyers. The same day, Mr Farouq Abu Eissa was briefly taken to Alamal Hospital, a hospital owned by the NISS, due to high blood pressure, and also received a visit from his family. Dr Amin Mekki Medani received a visit from his family on 24 December 2014. His family has since been permitted to bring him food that is compatible with his health needs as a diabetic.

On 21 December 2014 seven members of the NISS raided the offices of the Sudanese Human Rights Monitor (SHRM) in Khartoum, founded by Dr Amin Mekki Medani. A workshop on the Universal Periodic Review of Sudan taking place on the premises was stopped and participants required to leave. One participant, Mr. Mohamed Al Fateh Hima, was arrested by the NISS and released later the same day without charge. Mr. Hima is a journalist at Al Midan newspaper and a member of the secretariat of the independent Sudanese Journalist Network. A number of laptops and documents were confiscated.

Background

Dr Amin Mekki Medani and Mr Farouq Abu Eissa were arrested by National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) from their homes in Khartoum shortly before midnight on 6 December 2014. Dr Farah Ibrahim Mohamed Alagar was arrested by the NISS from his home in Omdurman in the early hours of 7 December 2014. Their arrests are believed to be connected to their participation in the “Sudan Call” political negotiations held in early December in Addis Ababa. The negotiations brought together Sudanese political and armed opposition groups.

Their continued detention is thought to be connected solely to the peaceful expression of their beliefs in favour of democratic principles and peace and security in Sudan, in violation of the lawful exercise oftheir rights guaranteed under Sudan’s Interim National Constitution (INC), the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR), and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Although their families were not informed of the reasons for the arrests, the men were detained after attending the “Sudan Call” political negotiations on 3 December in Addis Ababa. The “Sudan Call” is a declaration that commits signatories to work towards the end of the conflicts raging in different regions of Sudan. The document also pledges to work towards legal, institutional and economic reforms. Dr Amin Mekki Medani signed the document on behalf of a group of civil society actors. Mr Farouq Abu
Eissa signed on behalf of the Sudanese National Consensus Forces – an umbrella of political opposition parties – in his capacity as Chairperson of that group. Dr Farah Ibrahim Mohamed Alagar did not sign the document.

Dr Medani is a prolific member of the Sudanese human rights movement. He was the Chairperson of the organisation Sudanese Human Rights Monitor, FIDH member organisation in the country, and is currently an Executive Board member of over six non-governmental human rights organizations and legal associations. Dr Medani has also worked for various international organisations including as the head of the OHCHR in the West Bank, Gaza and Croatia and as a legal adviser to the Special Representative of the U.N. Secretary-General in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Mr Farouq Abu Eissa is the Chairperson of the National Consensus Forces, an umbrella of political opposition groups in Sudan, and has a long history of political activism. He has been one of the most preeminent voices in calls by Sudan’s opposition parties for democratic transformation in Sudan. He is the former Secretary General of the Arab Lawyers’ Union and the National Democratic Alliance.

Dr Alagar is a retired officer from the Sudan Armed Forces and was formally the chairperson of the National Congress Party (NCP) in Blue Nile state. He was dismissed from the ruling party in December 2012, reportedly because he expressed views diverging from the official NCP line, including on the possibility of power sharing in Blue Nile state between the NCP and Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N). He was later engaged in April 2014 as an independent conflict resolution expert by the SPLM-N to attend ongoing peace talks in Addis between the SPLM-N and the Government of Sudan.

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