Document - UA 67/92 - Sudan: fear of torture / legal concern: Makoi Wuol Manuer
EXTERNAL (for general distribution)AI Index: AFR 54/06/92
UA 67/92 Fear of Torture / Legal Concern24 February 1992
SUDAN Makoi Wuol Manuer - employee of a church relief agency
Makoi Wuol Manuer, head of the relocation programme of the Sudan Council of Churches (SCC), a well-known protestant church organization, was arrested in Khartoum on 9 February 1992.
The SCC runs relief and development projects for people displaced from western and southern Sudan by war, drought and famine. There are estimated to be over a million displaced people living in shanty towns and slum areas of Khartoum. The SCC has been negotiating with the government for permission to return 506 southern Sudanese families to the south. This permission was granted in early February 1992, but the security authorities immediately arrested Makoi Wuol Manuer, reportedly on suspicion of recruiting people to join the opposition Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA). He is being held incommunicado in an unknown place.
Makoi Wuol Manuer, a member of the Dinka ethnic group from Bahr al-Ghazal, is probably being held either in the security headquarters in Khartoum or in a secret detention centre, known in Sudan as a "ghost house". Torture and ill-treatment are routine in "ghost houses" and the security headquarters.
Amnesty International has been able to confirm the torture in detention centres of more than 100 people arrested since November 1989. One of their victims, Ali Fadul, a medical doctor, is reported to have died as a result of torture on 22 April 1990 (see UA AFR 54/22/90). More recently, over 75 civilians and former and serving army officers arrested in late August 1991 in connection with an alleged coup attempt were reportedly tortured in "ghost houses". An elderly prisoner was bound and suspended by his wrists from the walls of his cell on three consecutive nights. A civilian prisoner is reported to have had the flesh from his heels sliced off. There are reports of prisoners being whipped, of others having their testicles crushed with pliers and of yet others being burnt by hot irons.
The SCC programme to return displaced people to the south has been organized in the context of the military government's own policy of forcible relocation. Since 1990 the Khartoum authorities have indicated that they intend to clear displaced people from Khartoum to new locations outside the city boundaries. These locations are far from markets or other places where displaced people might find work and the new camps defined for the most recent removals have not been provided with water or shelter. There has been resistance by displaced people defending their homes and the authorities have used troops to enforce the demolitions. At least 6 people were killed when troops opened fire on displaced people in the Hai Yussif area of Khartoum North in late 1990. More recently, on 22 December 1991, troops shot rioters trying to prevent the demolition of houses in the Dar es-Salaam squatter camp in south Khartoum. At least 21 people are known to have been killed. In another incident on 15 January 1992, three people were shot dead as troops evicted displaced people from their homes in the Kober area of Khartoum North.
page 2 of UA 67/92
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Telegrams/telexes/express and airmail letters:
- expressing concern at the arrest of Makoi Wuol Manuer who Amnesty International believes may be a prisoner of conscience;
- expressing concern at his continuing incommunicado detention without charge or trial and fear that he may be being tortured;
- seeking assurances that he is being humanely treated, that his whereabouts in custody are made public and that he has immediate and regular access to his family, lawyer and any necessary medical attention;
- urging that he be immediately and unconditionally released unless he is to be charged with a recognizably criminal offence and brought promptly to a fair trial.
1) His Excellency Lieutenant General
Omar Hassan al-Bashir
Head of State and Chairman of the NSRCC
PO Box 281
Telegrams: Lt Gen Omar Hassan al-Bashir, Khartoum, Sudan
Telexes:22385 PEPLC SD or 22411 KAID SD
2) Brigadier-General al-Zubeir Mohamed Saleh
Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of the Interior
and Deputy Chairman of the NSRCC
PO Box 281
Telegrams:Brig-Gen al-Zubeir Mohamed Saleh, Khartoum, Sudan
Telexes:22842 WZARA SD or 22604 IPOL SD
3) Brigadier Ahmad Mahmoud Hassan
Minister of Justice and Attorney-General
Ministry of Justice
Telexes:22459 KHRJA SD or 22461 KHRJA SD (via Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
- Mr Jalal Ali Lutfi, Chief Justice, Law Courts, Khartoum.
- Mr Ali Sahloul, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, PO BOX 873, Khartoum.
and to diplomatic representatives of Sudan in your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat, or your section office, if sending appeals after 10 April 1992.