Document - Sudanese Christian held without charge: Salwa Fahmi Suleiman Gireis

URGENT ACTION

UA: 70/13 Index: AFR 54/006/2013 Sudan Date: 22 March 2013

URGENT ACTION

SUDANESE CHRISTIAN HELD WITHOUT CHARGE

Salwa Fahmi Suleiman Gireis, a Sudanese Christian woman and NGO worker, has been detained without charges for over month by the Sudanese security services following her arrest from her home in Khartoum. She may be detained in conditions amounting to ill-treatment.

Salwa Fahmi Suleiman Gireis is a 64-year old woman working as an accountant for an Evangelical Christian organisation. She was home on the morning of 12 February when four men who identified themselves as members of the National Security Service (NSS) entered the house and arrested her without providing a reason. Later the same day, the men returned and confiscated her passport, as well as the house’s electronic equipment, including laptops, a desktop computer, tablets and a router.

Following Salwa Fahmi Suleiman Gireis’ arrest, plainclothed men visited the family farm and put cupboards containing Bibles under seal. They reportedly killed the pigs that were being raised there, and stole a motorcycle. The NSS has summoned a relative of Salwa Fahmi Suleiman Gireis for questioning.

Salwa Fahmi remains in detention. While her family has been able to visit her once and to bring her medicine for her high blood pressure, she has not been charged and has been denied access to a lawyer. She is at risk of ill-treatment.

Amnesty International considers Salwa Fahmi a prisoner of conscience, held solely for her peaceful work with a religious organisation.

Please write immediately in Arabic, English or your own language:

Calling on the Sudanese authorities to release Salwa Fahmi Suleiman Gireis immediately and unconditionally;

Calling on the Sudanese authorities to ensure that, for so long as she remains in detention the conditions are humane and that she has immediate access to medical attention and to a lawyer of her choice

Calling on the Sudanese authorities to cease the harassment and intimidation of Salwa Fahmi Suleiman Gireis’ family

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 3 MAY 2013 TO:

President

HE Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir

Office of the President

People’s Palace

PO Box 281

Khartoum

Email: info@sudan.gov.sd

Salutation: Your Excellency

Minister of Justice

Mohamed Bushara Dousa

Ministry of Justice,

PO Box 302

Al Nil Avenue

Khartoum, Sudan

Salutation: Your Excellency

And copies to:

Minister of Interior

Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamed

Ministry of Interior

PO Box 873

Khartoum,

Sudan

Salutation: Your Excellency�

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.

Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.

URGENT ACTION

SUDANESE CHRISTIAN HELD WITHOUT CHARGE

ADditional Information

The Sudanese authorities since early 2013 have been taking measures to obstruct the activities of Christian organisations in the country. Following the detention of a recent convert to Christianity and several Coptic Church representatives in December 2012, the authorities reportedly destroyed several churches in the area around Khartoum, deported foreigners accused of proselytising, and conducted raids on a number of religious institutions, confiscating books.

In April 2012 a violent crowd ransacked the compound of a Presbyterian church in Khartoum, burning Bibles and looting the buildings. In June 2012, bulldozers sent by officials from the Ministry of Planning and Housing destroyed two church buildings belonging to the St John Episcopal Church in Khartoum, ostensibly for lacking a permit to occupy the land.

These developments take place in a context local land disputes and agitation by local preachers against Christians, many of whom originate from what is now South Sudan, or from the conflict-affected areas of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile.

Name: Salwa Fahmi Suleiman Gireis

Gender m/f: F

UA: 70/13 Index: 54/006/2013 Issue Date: 22 March 2013

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