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Sudan: Fear of torture/ill-treatment / possible prisoners of conscience

, Index number: AFR 54/002/1997

Omer Mohamed Omer, Mohamed Mahil, Ali Omda Abdel Magid, Mohamed Satti, Mahdi Abderahman Ali (senior members of the Ansar), Mohamed al-Mahdi, imam of the al-Ansar mosque, Al-Fadl Adam, member of the Umma Party, Ibrahim Ali, office director of the former Prime Minister, Abdel Mahmud Haj Saleh, former minister, al-Haj Abdelrahman Abdallah Nugdullah, former minister, Abdel Rasoul al-Nur, former regional governor, Mohamed Ismail al-Azhari, Mustafa Abdel Gadir, lawyer, Bakri Adil, Ali Mahmud Hassanein, lawyer, Nagib Nejm al-Din, doctor: Sixteen men, twelve of them senior members of the Ansar order of Islam and its political counterpart the banned Umma Party, are reported to have been detained without charge or trial in Khartoum in January 1997. They are being held incommunicado and there is concern that they may be prisoners of conscience at risk of torture or ill-treatment.

EXTERNAL AI Index: AFR 54/02/97
UA 13/97 Fear of torture/ill-treatment / possible prisoners of
conscience 15 January 1997
SUDANOmer Mohamed Omer, senior member of the Ansar
Mohamed Mahil, senior member of the Ansar
Ali Omda Abdel Magid, senior member of the Ansar
Mohamed Satti, senior member of the Ansar
Mahdi Abderahman Ali, senior member of the Ansar
Mohamed al-Mahdi, imam of the al-Ansar mosque
Al-Fadl Adam, member of the Umma Party
Ibrahim Ali, office director of the former Prime Minister
Abdel Mahmud Haj Saleh, former minister
al-Haj Abdelrahman Abdallah Nugdullah, former minister
Abdel Rasoul al-Nur, former regional governor
Mohamed Ismail al-Azhari
Mustafa Abdel Gadir, lawyer
Bakri Adil
Ali Mahmud Hassanein, lawyer
Nagib Nejm al-Din, medical doctor
Sixteen men, thirteen of them senior members of the Ansar order of Islam and
its political counterpart the banned Umma Party, are reported to have been
detained without charge or trial in Khartoum, Sudan's capital. They are
believed to be in a section of Kober Prison run by the security service. Their
families have been denied access to them. Amnesty International fears that
the men are at risk of torture and ill-treatment and is concerned that they
may be prisoners of conscience.
Omer Mohamed Omer and Mohamed Mahil were reportedly detained on 10 January
1997 and the others in the early morning of 13 January 1997. Abdel Rasoul al-Nur,
al-Haj Abdalrahman Abdallah Nugdulla and Mohamed Ismail al-Azhari were
re-arrested: they had previously been detained on 4 January and held for 24
hours. Mustafa Abdel Gadir and Ali Mahmud Hassanein are prominent lawyers who
have appeared for the defence in political trials. Negib Nejm al-Din is a
former secretary general of the banned Sudan Doctors' Union, a politically
active trade union opposed to the current government.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Five other prominent members of the Umma Party arrested on 4 January 1997 remain
in detention (see UA 08/97, AFR 54/01/97). The political atmosphere in Sudan
is reported to be tense after armed forces belonging to the opposition National
Democratic Alliance (NDA), of which the Umma Party is a member, cooperated
with the primarily southern armed opposition group, the Sudan People's
Liberation Army, to capture the northern Sudanese border town of Kurmuk on
12 January 1997. Sadiq al-Mahdi, a former prime minister of Sudan and leader
of the Umma Party, escaped from Sudan in mid-December 1996 to Eritrea where
the NDA is based.
Anyone detained by the Sudanese security authorities is at risk of ill-treatment
and torture, in particular during interrogation in security offices. In the
past the authorities have blamed torture and ill-treatment on undisciplined
security officials. Amnesty International's information, however, is that
torture and ill-treatment in security force custody are systematic.
2
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/express/airmail letters in
English, Arabic or your own language:
- expressing concern at the detention without charge of the above men, who
may be prisoners of conscience imprisoned for their suspected opposition to
the Sudan Government;
- seeking assurances that the detainees are not being tortured or ill-treated;
- urging that they be given immediate and regular access to their families,
legal representatives and any necessary medical attention;
- appealing for them to be released if they are not to be charged with
recognizable criminal offences and brought promptly to a fair trial.
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: Lt Gen Omar Hassan al-Bashir, Khartoum, Sudan
Salutation: Your Excellency
2) Mr 'Abd al-Basit Sabdarat
Minister of Justice and Attorney General
Ministry of Justice
Khartoum, Sudan
Telegrams: Minister of Justice 'Abd al-Basit Sabdarat, Khartoum, Sudan
Telexes: c/o 22411 KAID 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 Ali Osman Mohamed Taha, Khartoum, Sudan
Salutation: Dear Minister
COPIES TO:
1) Mr Obeid Haj Ali
Chief Justice
Supreme Court
Khartoum, Sudan
2) Mr Ahmad al-Mufti
Secretary
Advisory Council for Human Rights
PO Box 302
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 28 February 1997.

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