Document - Medical letter-writing action: Professor Mohamed Said al-Gadal


AI Index:AFR/54/37/90


Date:25 September 1990


(See AFR 54/11/90 - 28 March 1990)

Professor Mohamed Said al-Gadal


Amnesty International remains concerned about Professor Mohamed Said al-Gadal, an adopted prisoner of conscience who has now been held in detention without charge or trial for a year and who, on several occasions during his imprisonment, is said to have been in need of medical attention.

Dr al-Gadal is aged 55 and a professor of history at the University of Khartoum. He has published a number of works on history and education in Sudan, is Vice-President of the Sudan Writers' Union and in past years has been an active member of the Sudan Lecturers' Union and the Federation of Teachers Union. He is married with seven children.


Since the military coup on 30 June 1989 which overthrew the elected civilian government of Prime Minister Sadiq al-Mahdi, hundreds of individuals have been arrested in Sudan. Many were later released without charge or trial, but arrests have since continued and there are estimated to be more than 250 prisoners of conscience currently detained in the country solely for their peaceful opposition to the new military government or for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression or association. Those detained include politicians, trade unionists, academics, teachers, journalists, lawyers and doctors.

As soon as the new military government led by Lieutenant-General Omar Hassan al-Bashir assumed power, it declared a nationwide state of emergency, banned all political parties and trade unions, dissolved parliament and suspended the constitution. All non-religious associations were banned. A month after the coup, on 31 July 1989, leaders of a number of trade unions and professional bodies presented a memorandum to the government calling for these organizations to be made legal again. Arrests of trade unionists and others began shortly afterwards. The vast majority of those arrested since the coup have not been allowed access to legal counsel and remain without charge or trial, as in Professor al-Gadal's case.

Professor al-Gadal is held at a prison in Port Sudan in the north east of the country. He is known to be diabetic and is earlier reported not to have been receiving insulin. It is not known

whether he now receives insulin, but the provision of medical care in the prisons is said to be poor and living conditions in many prisons harsh. The most recent reports received state that Professor al-Gadal is in a poor condition, has recently been suffering from haemorrhaging in the eye and is without adequate medical care. Amnesty International is calling for his immediate and unconditional release and is seeking assurances that Professor al-Gadal has recourse to immediate medical care. The organization is calling on the Sudanese authorities to ensure that all prisoners are guaranteed basic minimum standards of health care.


AI Index:AFR 54/37/90


To:Medical professionals

From:Medical Office / Research Department - Africa

Date:25 September 1990


Professor Mohamed Said al-Gadal



Profession/association: academic/historian/writer

Theme: POC/detention without charge or trial/medical care/prison conditions

Recommended Actions

Letters are requested from medical professionals to the addresses below:

■ expressing concern that Professor Mohamed Said al-Gadal has been imprisoned since September 1989 without charge or trial

■ referring to reports that Professor al-Gadul, who is diabetic, has been left without adequate medical attention during the time that he has spent in prison, expressing concern at these reports and seeking assurances that he will be accorded immediate access to the medical attention he requires

■ urging his immediate and unconditional release from prison


Lieutenant-General Omar HassanBrigadier-General Faisal Ali

Ahmad al-Bashir Abu Salih

Head of StateMinister of the Interior

People's PalacePeople's Palace

PO Box 281PO Box 281



Dr Shakir al-SirrajMajor Ibrahim Shams al-Din

Minister of Health & WelfarePeople's Palace

Ministry of Health & WelfarePO Box 281



(Member of the National

Salvation Revolution

Command Council)

COPIES to the Sudanese diplomatic representatives in your own country

How you can help