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Uganda/USA: Further information on incommunicado detention without charge or trial / fear of torture

, Index number: AFR 59/004/1998

Sheikh Abduwel Abdullah Amin, Omar Ahmed Mandela, Hussein Abdul Mumir, Muhammed Diriya, Mohamed Gulam Kabba, Ali Mahmood, Asuman Mahmood, Hassan, Mohamed Rashid Asuman, Salah and seven others whose names are not known have been relaesed from custody. However, Hassan Noor, Hajji Ali, Sharif and a 15 year old boy, Abdul Khadir, are still in incommunicado detention, without charge or trial.

PUBLIC AI Index: AFR 59/04/98
5 October 1998
Further information on UA 255/98 (AFR 59/03/98, 24 September 1998) -
Incommunicado detention without charge or trial / Fear of torture
UGANDA/USA Sheikh Abduwel Abdullah Amin, imam of Tawhud mosque, Kampala -
Omar Ahmed Mandela, treasurer SC Villa football club
Hussein Abdul Mumir - (released)
Muhammed Diriya - (released)
Mohamed Gulam Kabba, former manager Alero Resource
Centre, in Adjumani - (released)
Hassan Noor - (in detention)
Ali Mahmood - (released)
Asuman Mahmood - (released)
Hassan - (released)
Mohamed Rashid Asuman - (released)
Salah - (released)
and seven others whose names are not known - (released)
and new names: Hajji Ali, shop-owner - (in detention)
Sharif, an employee of the above - (in detention)
Abdul Khadir, 15-year-old youth - (in detention)
Amnesty International welcomes the release, on 1 October 1998, of most of those
mentioned above. The organization is concerned, however, that four others
-- Hassan Noor, Hajji Ali, Sharif and a 15 year old boy, Abdul Khadir -- are
still in incommunicado detention, without charge or trial, in contravention
of Uganda’s constitution and laws, since their arrest on 15 September 1998.
While there are no reports that the men released were tortured or ill-treated,
there are concerns for the safety of the four who remain in detention.
At the time of their arrest by the Ugandan Anti-Terrorism Squad, working in
conjunction with officials from the United States’ Federal Bureau of
Investigation (FBI), US officials said that those arrested were suspected of
planning attacks on US interests in Uganda. On 24 September a Ugandan minister
told a press conference that the men had confessed to being sponsored by the
Sudan Government and to having links to Osama bin Laden, wanted by the US
Government for the bombing of the US Embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam
on 7 August. This information does not appear to have been correct. The FBI
personnel involved in the arrests have reportedly now left Kampala.
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express/
airmail letters in English or in your own language:
- welcoming the release of Sheikh Abduwel Abdullah Amin, Omar Ahmed Mandela
and 16 others;
- expressing concern for the safety of Hassan Noor, Hajji Ali, Sharif and Abdul
Khadir, who remain in incommunicado detention in an unknown location following
their arrest in Kampala on 15 September 1998;
- seeking assurances that they are not being ill-treated;
- expressing concern that they have been detained without charge or trial for
a period exceeding 48 hours in contravention of Ugandan law;
- urging that they be given immediate and regular access to family members,
a lawyer of their choice, and any necessary medical attention;
- requesting that they be released if they are not to be charged with a
recognizably criminal offence and brought promptly to trial;
- seeking assurances that Abdul Khadir is provided with all the safeguards
for the protection of children contained in both Uganda’s Children Statute
(1996) and international standards.
APPEALS TO (Please note that fax tones may be difficult to obtain):
Major Tom Butime
Minister of Internal Affairs
Ministry of Internal Affairs
PO Box 7191, Kampala, UGANDA
Telegrams: Minister Internal Affairs, Kampala, Uganda
Salutation: Dear Minister
Mr Eriya Kategaya
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
PO Box 7048, Kampala, UGANDA
Telegrams: Minister Foreign Affairs
Faxes: + 256 41 232874
Salutation: Dear Minister
Mr Philip Idro
Internal Security Organization
Office of the President
PO Box 7168, Kampala, UGANDA
Faxes: + 256 41 235459
Telexes: 61048 RESIST / 61389 KAPITAL
When copying to the US authorities please add a covering letter:
- pointing out that FBI involvement in the arrest and subsequent detention,
without charge or trial, of all 22 persons means that the US continues to have
an obligation towards ensuring that the human rights of the four still detained
are protected.
The Honorable Madeleine Albright
Secretary of State
Office of the Secretary of State
2201 C Street, N.W.
Washington DC 20520
Faxes: + 1 202 647 1533
Salutation: Dear Secretary of State
The Honorable William Cohen
Secretary of Defence
The Pentagon
Washington DC 20301-1155
Faxes: + 1 703 697 9080
Salutation: Dear Secretary of Defence
Louis J Freeh
Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Ninth Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington DC, 20535
and to diplomatic representatives of Uganda and USA accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 4 November 1998.

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