Document - Sudanese woman detained, risks torture


UA: 159/11 Index: AFR 54/015/2011 Sudan Date: 1 June 2011 Date: 1 June 2011



A Sudanese woman, Hawa Abdallah, who works for the joint United Nations and African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) , has been held incommunicado since 6 May, when she was arrested for “C hristianizing children and being linked to an armed opposition group. She is at risk of torture and other ill-treatment.

Hawa Abdallah was arrested on 6 May by armed officers of the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) at her home in Darfur’s Abu Shouk village, and detained in the state capital of North Darfur, El Fasher. Two days later, she was transferred to the national capital, Khartoum, where she is still detained.

Hawa Abdallah works as a community activist and translator for UNAMID, in Abu Shouk camp for internally displaced people (IDP) in Darfur. An article was published on Sudan’s state-run news website on 8 May, accusing Hawa Abdallah of “extensive Christianization” of children in IDP camps, and having links to a Darfuri armed opposition group. Article 126(1) of the 1991 Sudanese Criminal Code states that “whoever propagates the renunciation of Islam or publicly renounces it by explicit words or an act of definitive indication is said to commit the offence of Riddah (apostasy)”.

Since her arrest a photo of Hawa Abdallah has been shown on Sudan’s state-run news website, where she looks fatigued and bruised, increasing concerns that she is at risk of torture and other ill-treatment. She has not been charged with any recognizably criminal offence, and has been allowed no contact with a lawyer or family visits.

UNAMID have also been denied access to Hawa Abdallah, in direct violation of the Status of Forces Agreement between UNAMID and Sudan. The agreement requires cooperation by the authorities with UNAMID on all criminal cases involving its staff.

In 2009 Hawa Abdallah was detained for six days and reportedly tortured by the NISS, after the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued a warrant for the arrest of Sudan’s President Omar Al Bashir.

PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY in Arabic, English or your own language :

Calling on the authorities to ensure immediately that Hawa Abdallah has access to a lawyer, her family and any medical treatment she may require;

Urging them to ensure that Hawa Abdhallah is not tortured or otherwise ill treated and that she is either charged with a recognizably criminal offence or released;

Calling on them to put an immediate stop to the harassment and intimidation of activists in Sudan and to respect their right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.


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:


HE Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir

Office of the President

People’s Palace PO Box 281

Khartoum, Sudan

Fax: +249 183 782 541

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.



ADditional Information

In the last few months, Sudan’s police and NISS have arrested many Darfuris for protesting about issues including general living conditions and insecurity in Darfur. On 28 April, police and NISS arrested people who were holding peaceful protests about the distribution of food in the IDP camps, in North Darfur’s Al Salaam and Abu Shouk IDP camps. At least one child is believed to have been arrested and tortured. On 20 April, at least 100 people were arrested in protests at Nyala University, South Darfur.

The situation in Darfur has deteriorated significantly since December 2010, after the Sudanese government severed ties with the Sudan Liberation Army/Minni Minawi faction (SLA/MM), who signed the Darfur Peace Agreement in 2006. GHovernment forces have carried out attacks in IDP camps and in towns in Darfur, causing thousands of civilians to flee the region. Humanitarian agencies are facing increasing restrictions on access to areas affected by the conflict.

The conflict in Darfur has been marked by large-scale violations of international human rights and humanitarian law. The UN estimates that the Darfur conflict has resulted in the displacement of more than 2.7 million people, with about 300,000 being killed, since 2003.

UA: 159/11 Index: AFR 54/015/2011 Issue Date: 1 June 2011

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