Document - Sudan: Incommunicado detention / risk of torture

PUBLIC AI Index: AFR 54/016/2009

17 June 2009

UA 156/09 Incommunicado detention/risk of torture

SUDAN Ibrahim Abakar Ibrahim Adam (m), aged 28

13 others

Abakar Ibrahim Adam was arrested on 14 April, along with a group of other Darfuri people, after protests against the execution of nine Darfuri men. They are now known to be still in custody and are at risk of torture.

The nine Darfuri men were hanged on 13 April for the killing of journalist Mohammed Taha, who was kidnapped and decapitated in September 2006. The nine men were executed after unfair trials that started in 2007, where they were convicted on the basis of confessions made under duress. They were kept incommunicado during the entire time they spent in jail, until a few hours before their execution, when, according to local press, they were able to meet with their families, and told them they were "innocent and were going to be martyrs for the cause of Darfur."

A day after their executions, there were protests in the capital, Khartoum. According to local press, police dispersed the nearly 5,000 protesters with teargas, while some of the protesters burnt cars and shops in south Khartoum. Some of the protesters were shouting slogans in support of a Darfuri armed opposition group, the Sudan Liberation Movement.

Ibrahim Abakar Ibrahim Adam took part in the protests. He gave a speech during one of the protests organised at the Khartoum University, during which he denounced the execution of the nine men.

Ibrahim and a number of other protestors were seen being arrested by the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS), as they were heading home. They were all allegedly taken to one of the NISSdetention centres in Khartoum. Ibrahim and 12 of the others are still in custody, but the authorities have given no information about them at all, despite requests from Ibrahim's family.


Torture or other ill-treatment of detainees by the NISS is rife, especially when detainees are held incommunicado and especially when they are of Darfuri origin. Darfuri students studying in Khartoum are often harassed by the NISS, often during or after protests and political rallies.

Although Sudan’s Criminal Procedure Code contains safeguards against incommunicado detention, Article 31 of the National Security Forces Act, which governs arrests by the NISS, allows prolonged incommunicado detention without charge or trial. This increases the likelihood of torture.

Journalist Mohamed Taha had angered Islamists when he published an article discussing the ancestry of the Prophet Mohammed, after which he was arrested. He had also written articles attacking Darfuris.

During their investigation into the murder of Mohammed Taha, police focussed on Darfuris and rounded up 72 people, including women and children. Most were released, but 19 were brought to trial in 2007, of whom nine were executed on 13 April. Nearly all those detained said that they were tortured to give information or confessions.

RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in English, Arabic or your own language:

- urging the authorities to immediately release Ibrahim Abakar Ibrahim Adam and the 13 others held with him, or immediately charge them with recognized criminal offences;

- urging the authorities to allow Ibrahim Abakar Ibrahim Adam and the others access to legal representation, their families and any medical attention they may require;

- asking them to put an immediate stop to the harassment and unlawful arrests of Darfuris on the basis of their origin, or exercise of their right to freedom of expression and association;

- calling on the authorities to repeal Article 31 of the National Security Forces Act, which allows detainees to

be held for up to nine months without access to judicial review.


His Excellency Lieutenant General Omar Hassan al-Bashir

President of Sudan

Office of the President, People's Palace, PO Box 281, Khartoum, Sudan

Fax: +249 183 782541

Salutation: Your Excellency

Mr Abdel Basit Sabderat

Minister of Justice

Federal Ministry of Justice, PO Box 302, Khartoum, Sudan

Fax: +249 183 770883

Salutation: Dear Minister

Mr Ibrahim Mohamed Hamed

Federal Ministry of the Interior

PO Box 2793, Khartoum, Sudan

Fax: +249 183 776554

Salutation: Dear Minister

Deng Alor Kuol

Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs

PO Box 873

Khartoum, Sudan


Salutation: ear Minister


Dr Abdel Moneim Osman Taha

Rapporteur, Advisory Council for Human Rights, Khartoum, Sudan

Fax: +249 183 770883

Dr Priscilla Joseph

Chair of the Human Rights Committee, National Assembly, Omdurman, Sudan

Fax: +249 187 560950

and to 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 29 July 2009.

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