Arbitrary arrests / Release / Arbitrary detention SDN 002 / 1108 / OBS 199

25/11/2008
Press release

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the International Federation for Human Rights (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 reliable sources of the arbitrary arrests of Mr. Amir Mohamed Suliman, Chairperson of the Khartoum Centre for Human Rights and Environmental Development (KCHRED), Mr. Osman Hummaida, human rights researcher and member of OMCT Assembly of Delegates, and Mr. Abedlmonim Aljak, human rights defender.

According to the information received, on November 24, 2008, at noon, one National Security Service (NSS) officer and three NSS members arrested Mr. Amir Mohamed Suliman at KCHRED’s offices and took him to the political department of the NSS offices in Khartoum North. He was released the same day at 8 pm without charge.

On the same day, Messrs. Osman Hummaida and Abedlmonim Aljak were also arrested by the NSS and brought to the political department of the NSS offices in Khartoum North. Mr. Abedlmonim Aljak spent the night in the NSS offices and was then released without charge on November 25, 2008 at 6 am.

As of issuing this urgent appeal, Mr. Osman Hummaida remained detained at the political department of the NSS offices in Khartoum North and no charge had been brought against him. Furthermore, on November 25, 2008, in the beginning of the afternoon, the NSS asked Mr. Hummaida’s colleagues to bring to the NSS Mr. Hummaida’s clothes and medicine. Therefore, the Observatory fears that his detention will be prolonged.

During the interrogation, the NSS informed the human rights defenders that they were conducting an investigation on their link with the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) investigation in Darfur. The Observatory fears that the Sudanese authorities are using the ICC issue as an excuse to target human rights defenders.

The Observatory expresses its deep concern over the continuing harassment of human rights defenders by the Sudanese authorities and urges the Sudanese authorities to guarantee Mr. Hummaida’s physical and psychological integrity and security.

Actions requested:

Please write to the authorities of Sudan, urging them to:

i. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Messrs. Amir Mohamed Suliman, Osman Hummaida and Abedlmonim Aljak;

ii. Immediately release Mr. Osman Hummeida, since his detention is arbitrary as it seems to merely aim at sanctioning his human rights activities;

iii. Put an end to any act of harassment, including at the judicial level, against all three targeted defenders as well as against all Sudanese human rights defenders;

iv. Comply 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 its Article 1, which states that "everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to promote and to strive for the protection and realisation of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels", and Article 12.2, which provides that "the 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";

v. 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. President Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir, Office of the President, People’’s Palace, PO Box 281, Khartoum, Sudan
H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit, First Vice-President, People’’s Palace, PO Box 281, Khartoum, Sudan,
H.E. Ali Osman Mohamed Taha, Vice-President, People’’s Palace, PO Box 281, Khartoum, Sudan
Mr. Abdel Bassit Sabdarat, Minister of Justice, Ministry of Justice, PO Box 302, Khartoum, Sudan
Mr. Deng Alor, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs/External Relations, PO Box 873, Khartoum, Sudan
Mr. Ibrahim Mohamed Hamed, Minister of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Interior, PO Box 873,
Khartoum, Sudan, Fax: +249 183 779383
Dr Abdelmuneim Osman Mohamed Taha, Advisory Council for Human Rights, Rapporteur, PO Box 302, Khartoum, Sudan, Fax: +249 183 77 08 83
Permanent Mission of the Republic of Sudan to the United Nations in Geneva, Avenue Blanc 47, 1202 Geneva, Switzerland, Tel: +41 22 731 26 63, Fax: +41 22 731 26 56, Email: mission.sudan@bluewin.ch / mission.sudan@ties.itu.int
The Embassy of Sudan in Brussels, Avenue F.D. Roosevelt 124, 1050 Brussels, Belgium. Tel.:0032 (2) 647 51 59 / 0032 (2) 647 94 94, Fax: 0032 (2) 648 34 99, Email: sudanbx@yahoo.com

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

***

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: Appeals@fidh-omct.org
Tel and fax FIDH + 33 (0) 1 43 55 20 11 / +33 1 43 55 18 80
Tel and fax OMCT + 41 (0) 22 809 49 39 / + 41 22 809 49 29

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