UA 135/92 - Sudan: legal concern / fear of torture: Mirghani Abd al-Rahman Suleiman, al-Haj Mudawi, Said Haroun, Farouq Ahmad Adam, Musa al-Hussein, Abdel Rahman Idris
EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AFR 54/17/92
UA 135/92 Legal concern/Fear of torture 29 April 1992
SUDAN: Mirghani Abd al-Rahman Suleiman - politician
al-Haj Mudawi - politician
Said Haroun - politician
Farouq Ahmad Adam - politician
Musa al-Hussein - politician
Abdel Rahman Idris - retired judge
Mirghani Abd al-Rahman Suleiman, a prominent member of the banned Democratic Unionist
Party (DUP) and Minister of Supply in the former government of Sadiq al-Mahdi, and
the five other men named above are reported to have been arrested in mid-April 1992.
The authorities are reported to suspect them of involvement in a plot to overthrow
the government. The authorities have reportedly alleged that Mirghani Abd al-Rahman
Suleiman, who was arrested on 14 April 1992, was providing financial backing for
a coup attempt. Mirghani Abd al-Rahman Suleiman is thought to be detained at the
security headquarters in Khartoum, although the authorities have reportedly refused
to disclose his place of detention and his family has been denied access to him.
The government has claimed that the men were meeting at a petrol station owned by
al-Haj Mudawi, another prominent member of the banned DUP. Al-Haj Mudawi, who is
elderly and in poor health, is reported to have been released from custody at the
security headquarters in Khartoum around 26 April 1992. It is thought, however,
that he is being held under house arrest at his home.
The place of detention of Said Haroun and Farouq Ahmad Adam, who are both former
members of parliament, Musa al-Hussein, a member of the DUP, and Abdel Rahman Idris,
a retired judge and former Governor of South Kordofan province who was a member of
the banned Sudan National Party (SNP), is unknown.
Amnesty International is concerned that the five men who remain in detention are
at risk of torture, which is routine in the security headquarters and at secret
detention centres run by the security authorities, which are known as "ghost houses"
Mirghani Abd al-Rahman Suleiman has been imprisoned on two previous occasions by
the Sudanese authorities and on one occasion is reported to have been tortured.
He was among the many politicians and others arrested in the first few months after
the current government came to power in a military coup on 30 June 1989. He was
arrested again in August 1991 for alleged involvement in a coup plot and was reportedly
tortured. Fifty three of those arrested in connection with this alleged plot were
tried in October 1991. Mirghani Abd al-Rahman Suleiman, who was again reportedly
suspected of providing financial backing for the alleged coup attempt, was not among
them and he remained in custody until February 1992 when he was granted bail. On
19 April 1992, five days after he had been re-arrested on new charges, the authorities
dropped the charges against him relating to August 1991.
Since 30 June 1989 the authorities claim to have thwarted several coup attempts.
Twenty five army officers arrested in March 1990 were sentenced to terms of
imprisonment in summary military trials in May 1990. Eighteen remain in prison -
seven escaped in late 1991. On 23 April 1990, 28 officers were arrested for taking
part in an alleged coup attempt. They were executed after summary hearings on 24
April 1991. At least 41 civilians and soldiers were arrested in September 1990 -
again the authorities announced that they had foiled an
Page 2 of UA 135/92
attempted coup plot. All remain in prison. Of the over 80 people arrested in August
1991, 46 were sentenced to prison terms. Eleven were originally sentenced to death,
but their sentences were commuted to life imprisonment. On 2 February
1992 another 41 army and airforce officers were reportedly arrested for allegedly
plotting against the government. They have yet to be brought to trial.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Telegrams/telexes/express and airmail letters:
- expressing concern at the reported arrest of Mirghani Abd al-Rahman Suleiman,
al-Haj Mudawi, Said Haroun, Farouq Ahmad Adam, Musa al-Hussein and Abdel Rahman Idris,
of whom all except al-Haj Mudawi are reportedly held incommunicado in an unknown
place without charge or trial;
- expressing concern that the five who remain in detention are at risk of torture;
- requesting information about where they are being held and what steps are being
taken to ensure that they have immediate and regular access to their families, lawyers
and any necessary medical attention;
- requesting information about whether al-Haj Mudawi is under house arrest and, if
so, what the legal basis of the restrictions on him is;
- 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.
1) His Excellency Lieutenant General Your Excellency
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
2) Brigadier-General al-Zubeir Mohamed Saleh Dear Brigadier-General
Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of the Interior
and Deputy Chairman of the NSRCC
PO Box 281
Telegrams: Brig-Gen al-Zubeir Mohamed Saleh, Khartoum, Sudan
Telexes: 22842 WZARA SD or 22604 IPOL SD
3) The Acting Minister of Justice and Dear Minister
Ministry of Justice
Telegrams: Minister of Justice, Khartoum, Sudan
Telexes: 22459 KHRJA SD or 22461 KHRJA SD
(via Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
1) Mr Jalal Ali Lutfi
2) Mr Ali Sahloul
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
PO BOX 873, Khartoum
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 June 1992.