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Sudan: Torture and Fear of Torture

, رقم الوثيقة: AFR 54/003/2001

Nineteen men are awaiting “cross amputation" (amputation of the right hand and left leg) after they were convicted of armed robbery. The sentence was carried out on their five co-defendants, Ibrahim Gumai; Omer Salim; Salih Omer; Abakar Jalab; and Dafa Alla Mowloudi, on 25 and 27 January, and the rest are expected to face the same torture in the next few days.

PUBLIC AI Index: AFR 54/003/2001
EXTRA 09/01 Torture and Fear of Torture 1 February 2001
SUDANIbrahim Gumai
Omer Salim
Salih Omer
Abakar Jalab
Dafa Alla Mowloudi
19 other men
Nineteen men are awaiting “cross amputation” (amputation of the right hand
and left leg) after they were convicted of armed robbery. The sentence was
carried out on their five co-defendants on 25 and 27 January, and the rest
are expected to face the same torture in the next few days.
There are allegations that most of the men did not receive a fair trial: there
was not enough evidence to convict them and the usual judicial procedures were
not followed properly. According to their lawyers, an appeal has been rejected
by the highest court with jurisdiction on this matter, the Constitutional Court,
leaving them with no more prospect of escaping the sentence.
The men are held in Kober prison, in the capital, Khartoum. The five who have
already undergone amputation are reportedly held in isolation, without proper
medical treatment, putting them at risk of death or serious infection. These
five were also sentenced to pay a very high fine before they are released,
leaving them with the prospect of staying in prison indefinitely.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Sudan’s penal code, which is based upon the government’s interpretation of
Shari’a (Islamic law), includes penalties such as limb amputation, death and
death followed by crucifixion. The sentence for armed robbery is cross
amputation, under the Criminal Act of 1991. Amnesty International regards these
as cruel, inhuman or degrading punishments and therefore inconsistent with
international human rights law and Sudan’s obligations, in particular under
the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the United
Nations Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading
Treatment or Punishment (CAT), both of which Sudan has ratified.
Amnesty International is unconditionally opposed to the death penalty and other
forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and campaigns
for these to be removed from all penal codes without exception. The organization
takes no position on the ideological or religious basis of any penal code.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express/airmail
letters in English, Arabic or your own language:
- expressing grave concern that the five men named above have suffered cross
amputation and that 19 others are awaiting the same sentence;
- explaining that in your view such sentences contravene the prohibition in
the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of all from of cruel, inhuman or
degrading treatment or punishment, as well as Sudan’s obligations under the
ICCPR and CAT;
- urging the authorities to commute the sentences of cross amputation against
the 19 men to a more humane penalty;
- asking the authorities to provide the five men who have already suffered
amputation with adequate medical care as a matter of urgency;
2
- asking for an investigation into allegations that the 24 prisoners were tried
unfairly, and if these allegations are confirmed, for them to receive a prompt
and fair trial, according to international standards and without resorting
to cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment;
- appealing for the law in Sudan to be amended to bring it into line with
international standards.
APPEALS TO:
His Excellency Lieutenant Omar Hassan al-Bashir
President of the Republic of Sudan
People’s Palace
PO Box 281, Khartoum, Sudan
Fax: + 24911 787676/783223
Telegrams: President al-Bashir, Khartoum, Sudan
Salutation:Your Excellency
Mr Ali Mohamed Osman Yassin
Minister of Justice and Attorney General
Ministry of Justice
Khartoum, Sudan
Telegrams: Justice Minister, Khartoum, Sudan
Salutation:Dear Minister
Mr Mustafa Osman Ismail
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
PO Box 873, Khartoum, Sudan
Fax: + 24911 779383
Telegrams: Foreign Minister, Khartoum, Sudan
Salutation:Dear Minister
Dr Ahmad al-Mufti
Advisory Council for Human Rights
PO Box 302
Khartoum, Sudan
Fax: + 24911 779173
COPIES TO:
Mr Hafez al-Sheikh al-Zaki
Chief Justice, Supreme Court
Khartoum, Sudan
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 1 March 2001.

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