Arrest of human rights defender and SOAT network member

18/06/2004
Communiqué

SOAT Press Release : 18 June 2004

On 16 June 2004, Adel Abdullah Nasir Aldeain Saeed, a Lawyer with SOAT network in Nyala, was arrested by the security forces from his office at 1 pm. Mr. Adel, 37 yrs, from the Dajo tribe, was taken to the security forces offices in Nyala and has not been formerly charged. He was arrested for his human rights monitoring activities in the region. He has been denied any visits by his family or lawyers.

Mr. Adel is an active lawyer of SOAT network providing free legal aid services to persons sentenced to death, amputation, cross amputation and any other inhumane and degrading punishments.

In April 2004, Mr. Adel and other Lawyers submitted an application to the director of the security forces in the Southern Darfur state (Nyala) to charge detainees in the security forces detention centre in Nyala and bring them to court in a fair trial or release them immediately if there are no valid charges against the detainees.

SOAT believes that Mr. Adel was detained solely for the peaceful expression of his opinions and his human rights monitoring activities and expresses fears for his safety and is calling on the GoS to give assurances that he will not be tortured or ill-treated.

Background

In recent months there has been an increase in the number of human rights defenders and activists being subjected to arbitrary arrest and detention by the Security forces, especially in Darfur. Another colleague of Mr. Adel, Salih Mahmoud Osman, a prominent human rights defender and member of SOAT’s lawyer’s network, was arrested at his home in Wad-Medani, capital of the Central Region in Sudan, on 1 February 2004. Mr. Salih remains in detention, and he has not been charged with any offence.

Also, on 5 May 2004, security forces in Zalingy arrested and detained Osman Adam Abdel Mawla, a human rights activist working for Sudan Social Development Organisation (SUDO), Nyala branch, a locally registered Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO).

Prior to his arrest, Madawi Ibrahim Adam, human rights activist and Chairperson of SUDO, was arrested by the National Security Agency (NSA) forces in Khartoum, 28 December 2003. On 11 February 2004, he was charges under the 1991 Penal Code of undermining the constitutional system (article 50), waging war against the State (article 51), disclosure of military information (article 56), calling opposition to public authority by use of violence or criminal force (article 63), provoking hatred against or among sects (article 64). He reportedly faces the death penalty, life imprisonment, imprisonment of up to five years and forfeiture of his property under these charges.

In a separate incident reported by SOAT, on Sunday, 9 May 2004, security officers in Kabkabia arrested Nour Eldin Mohamed Abdel Rahim, Omda (tribal leader) of Shoba and teacher, and Bahr Eldin Abdallah Rifa, Omda of Jabal Si, both from the Fur tribe. Their arrest followed a meeting with the local authorities and Red Cross representatives where they provided various information regarding allegations of mass graves, killings and other human rights abuses.

SOAT urges Sudan to respect its obligations as a party to the African Charter, which under Article 6 states "no one may be arbitrarily arrested or detained." In addition Sudan is a state party to the UN Declaration of Human Rights which under Article 9 provides "No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile".

SOAT condemns these arbitrary arrests of human rights defenders and urges the Government of Sudan to put an end to the harassment and detention of its network members and all the human rights activists and protect witnesses in Sudan and urges the Government of Sudan to :

Take all necessary measures to ensure the physical and psychological integrity of Adel Abdullah Nasir Aldeain Saeed.

Order their immediate release of Adel Abdullah Nasir Aldeain Saeed in the absence of valid legal charges, or if legitimate charges exist, bring them before an impartial tribunal and guarantee procedural rights at all times.

Ensure that Adel Abdullah Nasir Aldeain Saeed has access to legal advice

Guarantee the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedom of association throughout Sudan in accordance with national laws and international human rights standards.

The above recommendations should be sent in appeals to the following addresses :

His Excellency Lieutenant General Omar Hassan al-Bashir
President of the Republic of Sudan
President’ s Palace
PO Box 281, Khartoum, Sudan
Fax : + 249 183 783223

Mr. Ali Mohamed Osman Yassin
Minister of Justice and Attorney General
Ministry of Justice
Khartoum, Sudan
Fax : + 249 183 788941

Mr. Mustafa Osman Ismail
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
PO Box 873, Khartoum, Sudan
Fax : + 249 183 779383

Dr. Abdelmuneim Osman Mohamed Taha
Advisory Council for Human Rights
PO Box 302
Khartoum, Sudan
Fax : + 249 183 770883

His Excellency Ambassador Mr. Ibrahim Mirghani Ibrahim,
Permanent Mission of the Republic of Sudan to the United Nations in Geneva,
PO Box 335,
1211 Geneva,
Switzerland,
Fax : +4122 731 26 56,
E-mail : mission.sudan@ties.itu.int.

SOAT is international human rights organisation established in the UK in 1993. If you have any questions about this or any other SOAT information, please contact us :

SOAT
Argo House
Kilburn Park Road
London NW6 5LF, UK
Tel : +44 (0)20 7625 8055
Fax : +44 (0)20 7372 2656
E-mail : soatsudan@btclick.com
Website : www.soatsudan.org

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