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
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 NISS detention
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