Documento - Sudan: Detained female youth activist risks torture: Rashida Shams al-Din

URGENT ACTION

UA: 187/12 Index: AFR 54/028/2012 Sudan Date: 3 July 2012

URGENT ACTION

DETAINED FEMALE YOUTH ACTIVIST RISKS TORTURE

An activist from Sudan’s youth movement Girifna, Rashida Shams al-Din, was arrested in the early morning of 24 June by security forces. She is being detained by the National Security Services (NSS) in an undisclosed location, without access to her family or a lawyer. She is at risk of torture and other forms of ill-treatment.

On the evening of 23 June, Rashida Shams al-Din left a wedding she was attending shortly after midnight. She told her family she was going toward Amarat, an area of the capital Khartoum where demonstrations had been taking place in recent days. She did not return home that night, and her family has not heard from her since.

A relative of Rashida Shams al-Din went repeatedly to the Airport Street offices of the National Security Services to enquire on her situation. On 26 June, the NSS confirmed to Rashida Shams al-Din’s relative that she was being held in NSS custody at an undisclosed location. Rashida Shams al-Din family was able to pass on clothes and personal items to her indirectly, but she remains detained incommunicado without access to her relatives or a lawyer. She is at risk of torture and other ill-treatment.

Twenty-eight-year old Rashida Shams al-Din lives in the Al-Shajara area of Khartoum and is a law student at the Open University of Sudan. She is a member of Girifna, a youth movement which has been involved in demonstrations criticizing the government, particularly in recent weeks.

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

Calling on the Sudanese authorities to unconditionally and immediately release Rashida Shams al-Din if she is held solely for her participation in peaceful meetings; if she is facing other recognizably criminal charges, unrelated to peaceful meetings, call for her to be tried promptly in proceedings that meet international standards;

Urging the authorities to ensure that Rashida Shams al-Din is not subjected to torture or other ill-treatment;

Calling on the Sudanese government to release individuals arrested for their participation in recent protests, or charge them with recognizable criminal offences;

Urging the authorities to immediately stop the harassment and intimidation of activists in Sudan and to respect their right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 14 AUGUST 2012 TO:

President

HE Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir

Office of the President

People’s Palace

PO Box 281

Khartoum

Sudan

Email: info@sudan.gov.sd

Salutation: Your Excellency

Minister of Justice

Mohammed Bushara Dousa

Ministry of Justice,

PO Box 302

Al Nil Avenue, �Khartoum, �Sudan

Salutation: Your Excellency

And copies to:

Minister of Interior

Ibrahim Mohamed Hamed

Ministry of Interior

PO Box 873

Khartoum, �Sudan

Email: mut@isoc.sd

Salutation: Your Excellency

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please insert local diplomatic addresses below:

Name Address 1 Address 2 Address 3 Fax Fax number Email Email address Salutation Salutation

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

URGENT ACTION

DETAINED FEMALE YOUTH ACTIVIST RISKS TORTURE

ADditional Information

Demonstrations broke out in Khartoum University on 17 June after President Omar al-Bashir announced that subsidies on fuel and basic food provisions would be lifted in response to the government’s fiscal crisis. The protests triggered a wider movement of daily demonstrations in Khartoum, its suburbs, and provincial capitals.

The authorities responded with excessive force. The police used batons, tear gas and rubber-coated bullets against peaceful protesters. In addition, the NSS embarked on a wide, systematic crackdown on civil society, arresting hundreds of individuals – not only demonstrators but also hundreds of opposition party members, youth activists, lawyers, journalists and NGO representatives.

In some cases, the detainees have been released without charge after a few hours. In others, they have been taken to unofficial places of detention where they have been tortured including beatings using fists, wooden sticks and metal bars. Individuals arrested for their involvement in demonstrations have also been charged with ‘troubling public order’ and sentenced to fines or lashing, which amounts to torture or other ill treatment or punishment.

Name: Rashida Shams al-Din

Gender m/f: F

UA: 187/12 Index: AFR 54/028/2012 Issue Date: 3 July 2012

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