EXTERNAL AI Index: AFR 54/03/96
UA 38/96 Fear of Torture/Fear of "Disappearance" 15 February 1996
SUDANHassan Adam Ali, political activist
Amnesty International is concerned at reports that Hassan Adam Ali, a political
activist from western Sudan, has been arrested and subjected to torture since
his arrival in Khartoum in late January 1996 after he was deported from Jordan.
Hassan Adam Ali has not been seen since his arrival in Sudan and his current
whereabouts are unknown. Amnesty International fears that he is also at risk
Hassan Adam Ali, who until the Gulf War worked as a labourer in Iraq, is a
political activist from the Fur ethnic group. In August 1993 Hassan Adam Ali
settled in Jordan where he was unemployed. On 1 January 1996 he was reportedly
arrested by Jordanian security officials. Efforts by Sudanese friends to get
Hassan Adam Ali a ticket and visa for a neighbouring country were ignored by
the Jordanian authorities.
In late January 1996 he was deported using travel papers issued by the Sudan
Embassy in Amman on a Sudan Airways flight bound for Khartoum. He reportedly
showed signs of having been beaten immediately before he was put on the plane.
Anyone detained by the Sudanese security authorities is at risk of
ill-treatment, in particular those held in secret detention centres known as
"ghost houses". Those whom the authorities suspect may have information about
opposition activities are at risk of severe torture. In March 1995 one of
the most notorious "ghost houses" was partially closed and its inmates
transferred to a section of the main prison in Khartoum, still under the
supervision of the security authorities but reportedly in better conditions.
However, other "ghost houses" are known to exist.
The Fur are a non-Arab peoples from western Sudan many of whom claim that
successive governments in Khartoum have followed policies that have pushed
them into the political and economic margins. Local politics in Darfur are
complex and historically involve tense relations between the agriculturalist
Fur and pastoralist ethnic groups who claim Arab origins. Intercommunal strife
and lawlessness have been further compounded by the political situation in
Chad. In the early 1990s Sudan central government mounted a series of military
operations in Darfur, ostensibly against "armed bandits". In early 1992 an
attempt by the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) to create a Fur detachment
in Darfur was defeated with the capture of its leader, Daoud Yahya Bolad, who
was subsequently killed in what appears to have been an extrajudicial execution.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/express/airmail letters in
English, Arabic or your own language:
- expressing concern at reports that Hassan Adam Ali is being held in
incommunicado detention in Khartoum where he is being tortured following his
deportation from Jordan in late January 1996;
- expressing concern that he is at risk of being "disappeared";
- seeking assurances for his physical safety and guarantees that he is not
being subjected to torture or ill-treatment;
- urging that he be immediately released unless he is to be charged with a
recognizable criminal offence and brought promptly to a fair trial.