Document - Sudan: Death threats / torture / fear of torture: Widad Hassan Ali Karrar, Samira Hassan Ali Karrar, Alia Hassan Ali Karrar, Mahasin (family name not known, wife of Bashir El Tayid), Souad Abdelrahim, Awadis Mirgani and 22 other members of the families of
EXTERNAL (for general distribution)AI Index: AFR 54/09/95
UA 53/95 Death threats / Torture / Fear of torture 28 February 1995
SUDAN Widad Hassan Ali Karrar (f)
Samira Hassan Ali Karrar (f)
Alia Hassan Ali Karrar (f)
Mahasin (family name unknown), wife of Bashir El Tayid
Souad Abdelrahim (f)
Awadis Mirgani (f)
and 22 other members of the families of 28 army officers executed on 24 April 1990 after an unfair trial
There are serious fears for the safety of the relatives of 28 army officers summarily executed in April 1990. In the past few days, as in previous years, several women have been targeted for detention and torture by the security forces, and it is feared they may face further torture if they are redetained.
Amnesty International is particularly concerned for Samira Hassan Ali Karrar, whom it believes is at risk of being extrajudicially executed because she is perceived as being the leader of the group of relatives and the organizer of their demonstrations and political activities.
The annual demonstration to commemorate the anniversary of the execution of the 28 officers was held on 25 February 1995. Twenty-eight female relatives of the executed officers, dressed in white and accompanied by children, walked from the palace in Khartoum to the university, shouting the names of the executed officers and handing out leaflets with poems and the officers' photographs. Reports indicate that they were met at the university by security forces and police emergency forces who severely beat the women and children until their clothes became soaked with blood. One member of the security forces reportedly took Wadid Hassan Ali Karrar by the hair and beat her head against a wall. She is now in hospital. This group of women and their executed relatives are featured as appeal cases in the Amnesty International campaign document Cases for Appeals (AFR 54/44/94).
At the recent demonstration, the five other women named above, and possibly up to 10 more, were arrested. They were taken to security offices in Khartoum North where they were beaten before being transferred to security headquarters. There they were reportedly beaten, threatened with rape, and ordered to stand on the roof of the building all day in the heat (it is Ramadan, so they were fasting, which made this particularly exhausting). An officer reportedly told Mahasin that she should not follow the example of Samira Hassan Ali Karrar. The officer also made threats against Samira's life. The detainees were sent home under order to report back to security offices the following morning, 26 February.
The women did not report back as ordered, and two members of the security forces arrived at Samira Ali Hassan Karrar's house on the morning of 27 February. They said that they knew that a memorial gathering was planned for that evening at one of the relatives' homes, and that it should be cancelled. Samira said that the memorial would go ahead as planned.
When the group arrived at the home where the memorial was to take place, the hostess said that members of the security forces had threatened her and told her that the meeting should not take place. The group decided to abandon the meeting, but remained in the house. Two security force officers arrived and asked for Samira Hassan Ali Karrar and Alia Hassan Ali Karrar to come with them. They refused. The officers then reportedly threatened the hostess saying that she should send Samira and Alia out of the house to them or take responsibility for what would happen otherwise. Samira and Alia went out of the house, but the officers did not speak to them. The women got into Samira's car and drove away, at which point the officers reportedly drove after them in two pick-up trucks. They reportedly chased the women through Khartoum. One pick-up truck overtook the women's car, then repeatedly applied the brakes hard while the other truck sped towards the car from behind. The women evaded the trucks and went to another sister's house, where the same two pick-up trucks were waiting. Samira then took Alia to her home, and drove home alone, followed throughout the journey by the two trucks.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail letters either in Arabic, English or in your own language:
- expressing concern that Samira and Alia Hassan Ali Karrar have been subjected to torture and harassment by security force officers, who have also threatened Samira's life;
- urging the Sudan Government to publicly condemn such action and take immediate steps to protect Samira Hassan Ali Karrar and the other relatives of the executed officers;
- asking the authorities to set up an independent investigation into the torture of the women at the demonstration on 25 February 1995 and in security force detention afterwards;
- calling on the Sudan Government to put a stop to the arbitrary detention without charge and ill-treatment and torture of individuals suspected of being political opponents.
(faxes to Sudan can be difficult to get through)
His Excellency Lieutenant General Omar Hassan al-Bashir President of the Republic of the Sudan
PO Box 281
Telegrams: Lt Gen Omar Hassan al-Bashir, Khartoum, Sudan
Telexes: 22385 PEPLC SD or 22411 KAID SD
Faxes: +249 11 71724
Salutation: Your Excellency
Dr al-Tayib Ibrahim Muhammad Kheir
Minister of the Interior
PO Box 281
Telegrams: Dr al-Tayib Ibrahim Muhammad Kheir, Khartoum, Sudan
Telexes: 22842 WZARA SD or 22604 IPOL SD
Faxes: +249 11 71724/73046/70186
Salutation: Dear Minister
COPIES OF YOUR APPEALS TO:
- Dr A. al-Mufti, Secretary of Human Rights Commission*, Khartoum, Sudan
(* The Human Rights Commission is a government-backed body, nominally independent, but apparently created to counter what the government perceives as hostile human rights propaganda.)
- diplomatic representatives of Sudan accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat, or your section office, if sending appeals after 20 April 1995.