SDN 001 / 0309 / OBS 037 Closure of an NGO/ Freezing of bank account / Harassment / Campaign of intimidation Sudan

Urgent Appeal

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), has received new information and requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Sudan.

Brief description of the situation:

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources of the closure of the Khartoum Centre for Human Rights and Environmental Development (KCHRED) by Sudanese authorities.

According to the information received, on March 1, 2009, the Minister of Social Affairs of Khartoum State issued a Ministerial decree No. 2/2009 based on Article 53(a) of the Khartoum State Interim Constitution 2006 and Article 18(a) of the Voluntary Act 2000 in which the latter confirmed the recommendation of the Khartoum State’s Humanitarian Aid Commissioner to cancel the registration of the KCHRED and to close it down. The KCHRED’s staff was also informed that the police would be sent to the premises to ensure that nobody can have access to the premises and that all staff have evacuated the Centre.

This measure is the last step in a campaign of intimidation launched by Sudanese authorities, in the context of the request issued on 14 July 2008 by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to issue an arrest warrant against President Omar Bashir.

A few days before, on February 19, 2009, KCHRED’s bank account was frozen also by decision of the Khartoum State’s Humanitarian Aid Commissioner. Recently, KCHRED staff members have been subjected to several acts of intimidation and harassment. Mid-February 2009, KCHRED was subjected to a number of sudden raids carried out by agents of the Federal and Khartoum State Humanitarian Aid Commissions carried out without prior notice. KCHRED staff was also subjected to numerous summons for interrogation by the same agents on the nature of its work and sources of funding. They were also defamed and targeted on numerous occasions in the newspapers, such as Mr. Amir Mohamed Suliman, Chairperson, who was referred to as a traitor in the newspaper Al Ra’id on January 13, 2009, in relation to his alleged participation to a seminar.

Finally the Observatory recalls that at the end of November 2008 three human rights defenders, Mr. Osman Hummaida, Mr. Abedlmonim Aljak, and the KCHRED Chairperson were arbitrarily detained, interrogated and tortured on the grounds of their alleged collaboration with the ICC. The first two human rights defenders, fearing for their safety, were then forced to leave Sudan.

The Observatory fears that this crackdown on Sudanese human rights defenders accused of "supporting" the ICC is the answer of the Sudanese Government to the ICC Prosecutor’s request for an arrest warrant against President Bashir.

The Observatory expresses its deep concern over the continuing harassment of human rights defenders by the Sudanese authorities.

Actions requested:

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

i. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of all human rights defenders in Sudan;

ii. Put an end to any act of harassment against the activities of KCHRED, repeal the decision to close it down and ensure in all circumstances that its members are able to carry out their work freely without any hindrances;

iii. Put an end to any kind of harassment against all human rights defenders in Sudan;

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.


· H.E. President Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir, Office of the President, People’s Palace, PO Box 281, Khartoum, Sudan, Fax: +249 183 774339 or +249 183 776554

· H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit, First Vice-President, People’s Palace, PO Box 281, Khartoum, Sudan, Fax +249 183 779977 or +249 183 780796

· H.E. Ali Osman Mohamed Taha, Vice-President, People’s Palace, PO Box 281, Khartoum, Sudan, Fax +249 183 779 977 or + 249 183 771651,

· Mr. Abdel Bassit Sabdarat, Minister of Justice, Ministry of Justice, PO Box 302, Khartoum, Sudan, Fax : + 249 183 780796, E-mail:,

· Mr. Deng Alor, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs/External Relations, PO Box 873, Khartoum, Sudan, Fax : +249 183 776554,

· 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, E-mail: advisory council,

· 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: /,

· 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:

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


Paris-Geneva, March 4, 2009

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:


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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