Sudan: Arbitrary arrest and judicial harassment of Mr. Adil Bakheit

21/04/2015
Urgent Appeal

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the arbitrary arrest and judicial harassment of Mr. Adil Bakheit, member of the Board of Trustees of the Sudan Human Rights Monitor (SHRM) by the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS).

URGENT APPEAL - THE OBSERVATORY

SDN 001 / 0415 / OBS 033
Arbitrary arrest / Arbitrary detention /
Judicial harassment
Sudan
April 21, 2015

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 about the arbitrary arrest and judicial harassment of Mr. Adil Bakheit, member of the Board of Trustees of the Sudan Human Rights Monitor (SHRM) by the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS). Mr. Bakheit, a human rights trainer, also played an important monitoring role during the 2010 elections and 2011 referendum in Sudan.

According to the information received, on April 16, 2015, at approximately 11 a.m. Mr. Bakheit was arrested in Karthoum by the NISS and has been held at the Al Awasat police station since then.

Later that day, the State security prosecution office announced it had filed a criminal case against Mr. Bakheit under the 1991 Criminal Act, on charges of “criminal joint acts in execution of criminal conspiracy”, (Article 21), “criminal conspiracy” (Article 24), “calling for opposition to public authority by use of violence or criminal force” (Article 63), “publication of false news” (Article 66) and “impersonating a public servant” (Article 93). Two additional charges brought up against Mr. Bakheit - “offences against the State undermining the constitutional system” (Article 50), “waging war against the State” (Article 51) - are classified as crimes against the State and carry the death penalty.

Three weeks prior to his arrest, on March 26, the laptop of Mr. Bakheit, which contains information about his human rights work, was confiscated when the NISS raided a workshop organised by the Khartoum-based TRACKS for Training and Human Development, whilst it was hosting a training session on social responsibility.

The Observatory is deeply concerned for the arrest, detention and judicial harassment of Mr. Adil Bakheit, as they only aim at sanctioning his human rights activities. The Observatory is further concerned with Mr. Adil Bakheit’s health as he is diabetic and might not get access to proper medical care and dietary while in custody.

The Observatory calls upon authorities in Sudan to immediately and unconditionally release him.

Actions requested:

The Observatory urges the authorities of Sudan to:

i. Immediately and unconditionally release Mr. Adil Bakheit as his detention is arbitrary since it only aims at sanctioning his human rights activities;

ii. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Adil Bakheit, including by ensuring Mr. Bakheit’s access to his medication, as well as of all human rights defenders in Sudan;

iii. Put an end to any kind of harassment, including at the judicial level, against Mr. Adil Bakheit, as well as of all human rights defenders in Sudan, and ensure in all circumstances that he is able to carry out his activities without hindrances;

iv. 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 realisation 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”;

v. 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
• H.E. Ms. Rahma Salih Elobied, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of the Republic of Sudan to the United Nations in Geneva, Avenue Blanc 51-53 (3rd Floor), 1202 Geneva, Switzerland, 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. Fax: 0032 (2) 648 34 99, Email: sudanbx@yahoo.com

Please also write to diplomatic representations of Sudan in your respective countries.

***

Paris-Geneva, April 21, 2015

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.

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