Sudan : Release on bail of Mr. Adil Bakheit

18/05/2015
Appel urgent

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the release on bail of Mr. Adil Bakheit, member of the Board of Trustees of the Sudan Human Rights Monitor (SHRM) and human rights trainer who played an important monitoring role during the 2010 elections and 2011 referendum in Sudan.

URGENT APPEAL - THE OBSERVATORY

New information
SDN 001 / 0415 / OBS 033.1

Release on bail / Judicial harassment
Sudan
May 18, 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), has received new information and requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Sudan.

New information :

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the release on bail of Mr. Adil Bakheit, member of the Board of Trustees of the Sudan Human Rights Monitor (SHRM) and human rights trainer who played an important monitoring role during the 2010 elections and 2011 referendum in Sudan.

According to the information received, on May 3, 2015, Mr. Bakheit was released from police custody, where he was detained since April 16 (see background information),after providing a personal guarantor who would pay a fine should Mr. Bakheit fail to respond to future summonses.

However, Mr. Bakheit faces the possibility of a re-arrest at any time as charges against him still stand. In particular, two of the charges held against him, namely the ones under Article 50 (“undermining the constitutional system”) and Article 51 (“waging war against the State”) are classified as crimes against the State and punished with the death penalty.

It was further reported that on May 10, 2015 Mr. Bakheit’s lawyer filed an appeal to the Minister of Justice calling for either a prompt trial or for the charges to be dropped.

The Observatory is extremely concerned about the judicial harassment of Mr. Adil Bakheit, as it seems only to aim at sanctioning his human rights activities and calls upon authorities in Sudan to immediately and unconditionally drop all charges against him.

Background information :

On April 16, 2015, at approximately 11 a.m. Mr. Bakheit responded to a summons by the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) in Khartoum. Later that day, the State security prosecution office charged Mr. Bakheit with seven criminal offences under the 1991 Criminal Act,including 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.

He was detained at the Al Awasat police station in Khartoum from April 16, until his release on bail on May 3, 2015.

Moreover, 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.

Actions requested :

The Observatory urges the authorities of Sudan to :

i.Drop all charges against Mr. Adil Bakheit, as they only aim at sanctioning his human rights activities ;

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

iii.Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Adil Bakheit, as well as of all human rights defenders in Sudan ;

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 Ahmadal-Bashir, Office of the President, People’s Palace, PO Box 281, Khartoum, Sudan, Fax :+249183783223

·Mr.Mohammed Boushara Dossa, Minister of Justice, Ministry of Justice, PO Box 302, Khartoum, Sudan ; Fax : 249183764168 /+249183770883 ; Email:moj@moj.gov.sd

·Mr. Ali AhmedKarti, 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 : +249183779383 /+249183776554 ; Email : ministry@mfa.gov.sd

·Advisory Council for Human Rights, Rapporteur, PO Box 302, Khartoum, Sudan, Fax :+249183770883

·H.E. Ms. Rahma Salih Elobied, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of the Republic of Sudan to the United Nations in Geneva, Avenue Blanc51-53(3rdFloor),1202 Geneva,Switzerland,Fax :+41227312656/+41227161970,Email:mission.sudan@bluewin.ch

·Embassy of Sudan in Brussels, Avenue F.D. Roosevelt 124,1050 Brussels, Belgium. Fax:0032(2)6483499, Email : sudanbx@yahoo.com

PleasealsowritetodiplomaticrepresentationsofSudaninyourrespectivecountries.

***

Paris-Geneva, May 18, 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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