Arbitrary arrest and detention

18/06/2004
Urgent Appeal

URGENT APPEAL ?THE OBSERVATORY
SDN 005 / 0604 / OBS 047
Arbitrary arrest and detention

June 18, 2004

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Sudan.

Brief description:

According to the information received, Mr. Adel was immediately taken to the security forces offices in Nyala and has been held incommunicado since then. According to SOAT lawyers in contact with the police, he has not been formally charged.

Mr. Adel provides free legal aid to persons sentenced to death, amputation, and other inhumane and degrading punishment. In April 2004, Mr. Adel participated with other lawyers in an appeal to the security forces of the Southern Darfur state, pressing to have all detainees in the Security Forces Detention Center formally charged and brought to a fair trial or otherwise immediately released.

The Observatory is concerned for his safety and fears that the arrest and detention of Mr. Adel is based solely on his peaceful and legal human rights activities.

More generally, the Observatory is deeply concerned by the measures taken by the Sudanese authorities in order to silence accounts of grave human rights violations occurring in Darfur. In this regard, the Observatory recalls that Mr. Nour Eldin Mohamed Abdel Rahim, Omda (tribal leader) of Shoba, and Mr. Bahr Eldin Abdallah Rifa, Omda of Jabal Si, both leaders from the Fur tribe, were arrested by security officers on May 9, 2004 following their participation in a meeting with local authorities and Red Cross representatives concerning human rights violations in the Kabkabia region. (see Urgent Appeal SDN 004/0504/OBS 036, May 17, 2004). The two have since been released.

In a previous event on May 5, Mr. Osman Abdel Mawla, a member of the Nyala branch of the Sudan Social Development Organisation (SUDO), a voluntary organisation created to promote sustainable development and human rights, was arrested by Zalingy security forces (see Urgent Appeal SUD 003 / 0504 / OBS 035). He has also been released.

Additionally, Mr. Salih Mahmoud Osman, a member of the SOAT lawyers network remains in detention since his arrest on February 1, 2004 and has not yet been charged with any offence. Although the grounds for this arbitrary detention remain unknown, there is reason to believe that his arrest and detention are connected to his legal activities in the Darfur region (see Urgent Appeals SDN 002/0104/OBS 009, February 4, and SDN 002/0104/OBS 009.1, March 5, 2004).

Finally, Mr. Madawi Ibrahim Adam, Chairperson of the SUDO, was arrested on December 28, 2003 (See Urgent Appeal SDN 001/0104/OBS 001, January 6, 2004), and was charged on February 11, 2004 under the 1991 Penal, for undermining the constitutional system (article 50), waging war against the State (article 51), disclosure of military information (article 56), calling opposition to public authority by use of violence or criminal force (article 63), and provoking hatred against or among sects (article 64). He now faces the death penalty and life imprisonment.

These facts contravene the provisions of the Declaration on Humans Rights Defenders, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 9, 1998, in particular articles 5.c which provides that ?everybody has the right [?] to communicate with non-governmental and intergovernmental organisations? and 8.2 which provides that everyone has ?the right, individually and in association with others, to submit to governmental bodies and agencies and organizations concerned with public affairs criticism and proposals for improving their functioning and to draw attention to any aspect of their work that may hinder or impede the promotion, protection and realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms.?

Actions requested:

Please write to the Sudanese authorities and ask them to:

i.Ensure in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Adel Abdullah Nasir Aldeain Saeed;
ii.Order the immediate release of Mr. Adel and the detained human rights defenders mentioned above, in the absence of valid legal charges against them, or if legitimate charges exist, bring them before an impartial tribunal in the shortest delay and guarantee their right to fair and impartial trials;
iii.Conform to the provisions of the Declaration on Humans Rights Defenders, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 9, 1998, in particular 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", article 12§2 which provides that ?[t]he 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? as well as article 5.c and 8.2 mentioned above;
iv.ensure in all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international human rights standards.

Addresses:

His Excellency Lieutenant General Omar Hassan al-Bashir, President of the Republic of Sudan, People’s Palace, PO Box 281, Khartoum, Sudan, fax : + 249 11 783223
Mr Ali Osman Yasin, Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Ministry of Justice, Khartoum, Sudan. Fax : + 249 11 788941
Mr Mustafa Osman Ismail, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, PO Box 873, Khartoum, Sudan, fax : + 249 11 779383
Mr. Yasir Sid Ahmed, Advisory Council for Human Rights, PO Box 302 Khartoum, Sudan. Fax: + 249 11 770883
His Excellency Ambassador Ibrahim Mirghani Ibrahim, Permanent Mission of Sudan to the United Nations in Geneva, Case Postal 335, 1211 Geneva 19, fax : 0041 (0) 22 731 26 56, email: mission.sudan@ties.itu.int.
Given the lack of working fax numbers for the government officials above, please send the appeals by standard mail and also write to the embassies of Sudan in your respective country.

Paris ? Geneva, June 18, 2004
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.
The Observatory was the winner of the 1998 Human Rights Prize of the French Republic.

To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line:
E-mail: observatoire@iprolink.ch
Tel and fax FIDH 33 (0) 1 43 55 20 11 / 01 43 55 18 80
Tel and fax OMCT + 4122 809 49 39 / 41 22 809 49 29

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