UA 68/92 - Sudan: fear of torture: Awad al-Sharif, Philip Akot Akok, Adnan Zahir Surur, Kamal al-Gizouli
EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AFR 54/07/92
UA 68/92 Fear of torture 25 February 1992
SUDAN: Awad al-Sharif - engineer
Philip Akot Akok - politician
Adnan Zahir Surur - lawyer
Kamal al-Gizouli - lawyer
Hundreds of government opponents have been arrested in Khartoum since the start
of January 1992, the majority only overnight or for one or two days. The four
men named above, however, are among those who remain in detention without charge
or trial. All four were arrested on different dates; the precise reasons for
their arrest are unknown - but all are held either in the security headquarters
in Khartoum, or in a secret detention centre known as a "ghost house" in Sudan,
where they are at risk of torture.
Awad al-Sharif, an engineer from Khartoum, was arrested on 1 January 1992.
Philip Akot Akok, once a member of the former Southern Sudan Regional Assembly
and from the Dinka ethnic group, was reportedly arrested in mid-February 1992
shortly after he arrived in Khartoum from Wau, the capital of Bahr al-Ghazal
in southern Sudan.
Adnan Zahir Surur, a lawyer, was arrested in Khartoum around 12 February 1992.
He has been imprisoned without charge or trial on several previous occasions
- from January 1990 until May 1991, then again in June 1991 for two weeks and
from August to December 1991. Shortly after his release he is reported to
have suffered a heart attack.
Kamal al-Gizouli, a lawyer and Secretary General of the Sudanese Writers' Union,
was also arrested in Khartoum around 12 February 1992. A former prisoner of
conscience under the Nimeiri government, this is the second time he has been
detained without charge or trial since the current government came to power
- the first occasion was in August 1989 when he was imprisoned until May 1991.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION:(note to translators - please see UA 67/92)
Torture and ill-treatment are routine in "ghost houses" and the security
headquarters. Amnesty International has been able to confirm the torture in
detention centres of more than 100 people arrested since November 1989. One
of their victims, Ali Fadul, a medical doctor, is reported to have died as
a result of torture on 22 April 1990 (see UA AFR 54/22/90). More recently,
over 75 civilians and former and serving army officers arrested in late August
1991 in connection with an alleged coup attempt were reportedly tortured in
"ghost houses". An elderly prisoner was bound and suspended by his wrists
from the walls of his cell on three consecutive nights. A civilian prisoner
is reported to have had the flesh from his heels sliced off. There are reports
of prisoners being whipped, of others having their testicles crushed with pliers
and of yet others being burnt by hot irons.
page 2 of UA 68/92
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Telegrams/telexes/express and airmail letters:
- expressing concern at the arrests of Awad al-Sharif, Philip Akot Akok, Adnan
Zahir Surur and Kamal al-Gizouli whom Amnesty International believes may be
prisoners of conscience;
- expressing concern at their continuing incommunicado detention without
charge or trial and fear that they may be being tortured;
- seeking assurances that they are being humanely treated, that their
whereabouts in custody are made public and that they have immediate and regular
access to their families, lawyers and any necessary medical attention;
- urging that they be immediately and unconditionally released unless they
are to be charged with a recognizably criminal offence and brought promptly
to a fair trial.
His Excellency Lieutenant General
Omar Hassan al-Bashir
Head of State and Chairman of the NSRCC
PO Box 281
Telegrams: Lt Gen Omar Hassan al-Bashir, Khartoum, Sudan
Telexes: 22385 PEPLC SD or 22411 KAID SD
Salutation: Your Excellency
Brigadier-General al-Zubeir Mohamed Saleh
Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of the Interior
and Deputy Chairman of the NSRCC
PO Box 281
Telegrams: Brig-Gen al-Zubeir Mohamed Saleh, Khartoum,
Telexes: 22842 WZARA SD or 22604 IPOL SD
Salutation: Dear Brigadier-General
Abdel Sami Omar
Minister of Justice and Attorney-General
Ministry of Justice
Telexes: 22459 KHRJA SD or 22461 KHRJA SD (via
Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
Salutation: Dear Minister
- Mr Jalal Ali Lutfi, Chief Justice, Law Courts, Khartoum,
- Mr Ali Sahloul, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of
Foreign Affairs, PO BOX 873, Khartoum, Sudan.
and to diplomatic representatives of Sudan in your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 10 April 1992.