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Sudan: Prisoners of conscience / fear or torture: Mohamed Ibrahim Abdu (known as Kabaj), businessman, Saudi Darraj, trade unionist, Ali al-Mahi al-Sakhi, trade unionist, Ahmad Osman, trade unionist, Atif Haroun, accountant, Kamal 'Abd al-Karim Mirghani, e

, رقم الوثيقة: AFR 54/039/1995

AI fears that the above may be facing torture in incommunicado detention. It also believes that the men are prisoners of conscience, detained solely because of their history of non-violent political activity. The arrests follow a security clampdown following widespread anti-government street demonstrations between 11 and 14 September 1995. Many of those named above have been arrested before.

EXTERNAL AI Index: AFR 54/39/95
UA 238/95 Prisoners of Conscience / Fear of Torture 16 October 1995
SUDAN Mohamed Ibrahim Abdu (known as Kabaj), businessman
Saudi Darraj, trade unionist
Ali al-Mahi al-Sakhi, trade unionist
Ahmad Osman, trade unionist
Atif Haroun, accountant
Kamal 'Abd al-Karim Mirghani, economist
Yahya Mukwar, doctor
Awad Gibreel, graduate
Amnesty International fears that the eight men named above may be facing torture
in incommunicado detention. Furthermore, it believes that the eight are
prisoners of conscience, detained solely because of their history of non-violent
political activity.
Mohamed Ibrahim Abdu, popularly known as Kabaj, was reportedly arrested on
29 September 1995. His family in Sudan have not seen him since and his
whereabouts remain unknown. The other seven men are reported to have been
arrested on various dates on or shortly after 12 September and are also detained
without charge or trial by the security services in an unknown location.
These arrests are part of a security clampdown following widespread
anti-government street protests in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, and other
northern Sudanese cities between 11 and 14 September 1995. The authorities
have blamed leftists, communists and "foreigners" for the demonstrations. Yahya
Mukwar is reported to have been a member of the banned Democratic Unionist
Party (DUP), and the other seven are reported to hold left-wing political views.
However, there is no reliable evidence that the men named above played any
role in the protests, and the authorities appear to have used events on the
streets as a pretext to arrest prominent non-violent critics of the government.
Many of those named above have been arrested on several previous occasions:
Kamal 'Abd al-Karim Mirghani was only released from detention on 26 August
1995 after being arrested in July. The authorities claimed that his and other
releases around the same time marked the release of all political detainees
in Sudan.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Other political prisoners detained in connection with the demonstrations have
been badly beaten. One young man was reportedly held briefly by security
officers who broke both his arms. An intermediate school student arrested on
12 September was beaten in incommunicado detention before being dumped from
a vehicle outside his home on the evening of 14 September.
Another detainee, arrested on 18 September and since released, has reported:
"I was beaten and kicked on all possible body parts with a black hosepipe and
with hands and feet. I had to stand for six hours with my face to the wall".
In testimony which underlines how all detainees are at risk of torture when
arrested by Sudan Security, the detainee reports how, at a "ghost house" located
in the Khartoum suburb of al-'Amarat, he met six other detainees arrested in
connection with the demonstrations beaten in the same way and "five southern
Sudanese who had been beaten badly because they were accused of working with
John Garang" (the leader of the armed opposition Sudan People's Liberation
Army).
2
The demonstrations between 11-14 September 1995 were the largest street protests
to have taken place in Sudan since the military government seized power on
30 June 1989. In the course of the demonstrations government supporters, some
reportedly armed, attacked demonstrators and police and plainclothes security
officials fired live ammunition and tear gas. At least five people are reported
to have been killed -- unofficial sources have claimed that as many as 40 people
may have died -- and many others wounded. Hundreds of people were arrested.
The majority have since been released.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/express/airmail letters in
English, Arabic or your own language:
- expressing concern at the arrest of the eight men named above, who Amnesty
International believes are prisoners of conscience, detained on account of
their history of non-violent opposition to government policies;
- seeking assurances of their physical safety and guarantees that they are
not being subjected to torture or ill-treatment;
- urging that they be immediately and unconditionally released.
APPEALS TO:
1) His Excellency Lieutenant General Omar Hassan al-Bashir
President of the Republic of the Sudan
People's Palace
PO Box 281, Khartoum, Sudan
Telegrams: President, Khartoum, Sudan
Telexes: 22411 KAID SD
Salutation: Your Excellency
2) Brigadier Bakri Hassan Saleh
Minister of the Interior
People's Palace
PO Box 281, Khartoum, Sudan
Telegrams: Interior Minister, Khartoum, Sudan
Telexes: 22842 WZARA SD or 22604 IPOL SD
Salutation: Dear Minister
3) Mr Ali Osman Mohamed Taha
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
PO Box 873
Khartoum, Sudan
Telegrams: Foreign Minister, Khartoum, Sudan
Salutation: Dear Minister
COPIES TO:
Mr 'Abd al-Aziz Shiddo
Minister of Justice and Attorney-General
Ministry of Justice, Khartoum, Sudan
Mr Obeid Haj Ali
Chief Justice
Law Courts
Khartoum, Sudan
Mr Angelo Beda Bambara
3
Chairman of the Human Rights Committee of the Transitional National Assembly
(TNA)*
Omdurman, Sudan
* The TNA's Human Rights Committee was created by Sudan's government-appointed
Transitional National Assembly in December 1992, apparently to counter what
the government perceives as hostile human rights propaganda. The Committee's
Chairman has said that it investigates reports of human rights violations.
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 December 1995.

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