Sudan: Incommunicado detention of Hatim Ali Abdalla and police harassment against Khalid Omer Yousif

29/03/2013
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 the African Centre For Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS) about the arbitrary arrest and incommunicado detention of youth activist Mr. Hatim Ali Abdalla and the police harassment of Mr. Khalid Omer Yousif, Spokesperson for the Sudanese youth movement Sudan Change Now.

According to the information received on March 23, 2013, Mr. Abdalla was arrested at 1 pm by the police during a peaceful demonstration held before the Khartoum Bahri Hospital. The demonstration, attended by roughly 50 people, was organised by several doctors’ unions to protest a recent decree issued by the Khartoum Minister of Health ordering the closure of several public hospitals. He was taken to Khartoum Bahri police station. He was released at around 12.30am on March 24, and ordered to report to the Political Section of the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) offices in Khartoum Bahri at 8.30am the same day. On 24 March, Mr. Abdalla reported to the NISS as instructed and has been detained incommunicado ever since. When his family requested to visit him, they were reportedly told by the NISS to return in fourteen days. The nature of criminal charges against him, if any, and his exact whereabouts are not known.

Mr. Abdalla has reportedly been arrested more than two times, but released without charge, in the last year.

On March 23, Mr. Khalid Omer Yousif, was also summoned to the Political Section of the NISS offices in Khartoum Bahri and interrogated about his role in the demonstrations. He was released at midnight the same day and ordered to report back to the NISS offices on the morning of March 24, where he waited until 5pm without being interviewed. He was subsequently ordered to report back to the NISS office on the mornings of March 25 and 26, after which he was told that the investigation against him had concluded and he was no longer required to report to the NISS.

The Observatory expresses its deepest concerns about these acts of harassment and is deeply concerned by Mr. Hatim Ali Abdalla’s incommunicado detention and fears for his physical and psychological integrity, particularly in the current context of widespread resort to acts of torture and ill-treatment in NISS detention centres in Sudan. The Observatory calls upon the Sudanese authorities to take prompt action in order to disclose his fate and whereabouts, ensure his access to his family and lawyer and release him immediately as it believes that his arrest merely aimed at sanctioning his human rights activities.

Actions requested:

The Observatory urges the authorities of Sudan to:

i. Immediately grant Mr. Hatim Ali Abdalla access to his family and lawyers.

ii. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Messrs. Hatim Ali Abdalla and Khalid Omer Yousif, as well as of all human rights defenders in Sudan;

iii. Release Mr. Hatim Ali Abdalla immediately and unconditionally as his detention is arbitrary since it only aims at sanctioning their human rights activities;

iv. Put an end to any kind of harassment, including at the judicial level, against Messrs. Hatim Ali Abdalla and Khalid Omer Yousif, as well as of all human rights defenders in Sudan, and ensure in all circumstances that they are able to carry out their activities without hindrances;

v. Conform in any circumstances with the provisions of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, in particular its 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”, and its 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”;

vi. Ensure in all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international human rights standards and international instruments ratified by Sudan.

Addresses:

Mr. President Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir, Office of the President, People’s Palace, PO Box 281, Khartoum, Sudan, Fax: + 249 183 783223
Mr. Mohammed Boushara Dossa, Minister of Justice, Ministry of Justice, PO Box 302, Khartoum, Sudan; Fax: 249 183 764 168 / +249 183 770 883; Email: moj@moj.gov.sd
Mr. Ali Ahmed Karti, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs/External Relations, PO Box 873, Khartoum, Sudan, Fax: 249183772941
Mr. Ibrahim Mahmoud Ahmed, Minister of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Interior, PO Box 873, Khartoum, Sudan, Fax: +249 183 779383 / +249 183 776 554; Email: ministry@mfa.gov.sd
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 51-53 (3rd Floor), 1202 Geneva, Switzerland, Tel: +41 22 731 26 63, Fax: +41 22 731 26 56 / +41 22 716 19 70, Email: mission.sudan@bluewin.ch
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 diplomatic representations of Sudan in your respective countries.

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