Document - Sudan: Six youth activists detained


UA: 37/12 Index: AFR 54/006/2012 Sudan Date: 06 February 2012 URGENT ACTION SIX YOUTH ACTIVISTS DETAINED Six members of the student-led movement Girifna were arrested on 25 January, after taking part in a public forum on human rights. They are at risk of torture and other ill- treatment. Amar Dirar, Nagi Musa, Gazi Eltayeb, Mohamed Mahjoub, Sharif Kamal and Omar Hamid took part in a forum organized by Girifna on 25 January in the city of Omdurman. The event was held to commemorate the 2005 Beja massacre at Port Sudan and to condemn the lack of justice for the victims. Immediately after the forum, Amar Dirar, Nagi Musa, Gazi Eltayeb, Mohamed Mahjoub and Sharif Kamal were arrested by National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) officials and taken to an undisclosed location. Omar Hamid was arrested on his way home from the forum. On 29 January the six activists were reportedly transferred to Kober Prison in the capital, Khartoum. If they are being held solely for peaceful participation in the forum, Amnesty International would consider them prisoners of conscience. Nagi Musa and Amar Dirar had previously been arrested by the police on 29 November 2011. They had been taking part in a public forum with other Girifna members in Omdurman market and distributing pamphlets encouraging activism around the issue of deteriorating socio-economic conditions in Sudan. They were detained and reportedly interrogated and tortured by NISS agents before being released days later without charge. Girifna, or the “we’re fed up” movement, was established in October 2009 in the lead up to Sudan’s 2010 presidential and parliamentary elections, to campaign against President Omar al-Bashir and the ruling National Congress Party. Please write immediately in Arabic, English or your own language: Calling on the authorities to release Amar Dirar, Nagi Musa, Gazi Eltayeb, Mohamed Mahjoub, Sharif Kamal and Omar Hamid immediately and unconditionally, if they are being held solely for taking part in a public forum; Urging them to ensure that the six activists are not tortured or otherwise ill-treated, and are given immediate access to their families, lawyers and any medical treatment they may require; Urging them to immediately stop the harassment and intimidation of activists in Sudan and to respect their right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 19 MARCH 2012 TO: Minister of Justice Mr Mohammed Bushara Dousa Ministry of Justice, PO Box 302 Al Nil Avenue Khartoum, Sudan Fax: +249 183 764 168 Salutation: Your Excellency Minister of Interior Mr Ibrahim Mohamed Hamed Ministry of Interior PO Box 873 Khartoum, Sudan Salutation: Your Excellency And copies to: President HE Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir Office of the President People’s Palace PO Box 281 Khartoum, Sudan Fax: +249 183 770 621 Email: Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please insert local diplomatic addresses below: Name Address 1 Address 2 Address 3 Fax Fax number Email Email address Salutation Salutation Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.

URGENT ACTION SIX YOUTH ACTIVISTS DETAINED ADDITIONAL INFORMATION Inspired by protests throughout the Middle East and North Africa that began in Tunisia at the beginning of January 2011, hundreds of demonstrators throughout Sudan took to the streets in 2011 calling for democracy and an improvement in socio- economic conditions. The police and the NISS in Sudan responded by frequently arresting and ill-treating peaceful demonstrators. Student movements and organizations are regularly targeted by the NISS. From mid-December 2011 into January 2012, students at Khartoum University peacefully demonstrated in solidarity with the Manaseer, an ethnic group that were forcibly displaced from their land due to the construction of the Merowe dam, in River Nile state. The demonstrations were violently dispersed on 22 December by police and security forces using batons and teargas. Large numbers of students were arrested during and after the demonstrations, and some were seriously injured by the security forces, who used excessive force. Student activist and Girifna member Taj Alsir Jaafar was among those arrested. He is believed to have been arrested and detained for participating in a sit-in at Khartoum university, in part to protest against police violence. He is being held incommunicado in an unknown location. The 2010 National Security Act provides the NISS powers to search and seize assets and to arrest and detain people for up to four-and-a-half months without judicial oversight. The act also grants NISS agents immunity from prosecution for any act committed in the course of their work. Names: Amar Dirar, Nagi Musa, Gazi Eltayeb, Mohamed Mahjoub, Sharif Kamal Gender m/f: Male UA: 37/12 Index: AFR 54/006/2012 Issue Date: 06 February 2012

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