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Further information on UA 305/91 (AFR 23/05/91, 11 September and follow-up AFR 23/06/91, 15 October) - Djibouti: medical concern: Aref Mohamed Aref, and Ali Aref Bourhane (new name)

, N° d'index: AFR 23/011/1991

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AFR 23/11/91
Distr: UA/SC
30 October 1991
Further information on UA 305/91 (AFR 23/05/91, 11 September) and follow-up
AFR 23/06 91 (15 October) - Medical Concern
DJIBOUTI:Aref Mohamed Aref, lawyer,
and Ali Aref Bourhane, politician (new name)
Amnesty International is concerned about the health of Aref Mohamed Aref and
his uncle, Ali Aref Bourhane, as they have reportedly been refused their regular
supply of food since 26 October 1991. They are held at Ali-Adde prison at
Dikhil, a remote prison near the Ethiopian border.
In early September 1991 the prison authorities stopped providing food
for Aref Mohamed Aref and Ali Aref Bourhane. Their families, unable to visit
them regularly because of the distance, then arranged for food to be provided
by a supplier in Dikhil. The military guards at the prison, however, have
now refused to accept this food for the two detainees who have been left with
only biscuits to eat.
Aref Mohamed Aref, 39, a lawyer who has previously defended political prisoners
in Djibouti, was arrested on 13 January 1991 together with his uncle, Ali Aref
Bourhane, 57, a prominent government opponent and former Prime Minister
(président du gouvernement) before independence from France in 1977, and many
other members of the Afar ethnic group. They and over a dozen others are awaiting
trial for attempting to overthrow the government (atteinte à la sécurité de
l'Etat), for which the death penalty could be imposed. Amnesty International
believes they could be prisoners of conscience.
Aref Mohamed Aref was sent back to Ali-Adde prison from hospital in the
capital, Djibouti, in early October 1991 after medical treatment in hospital
for tachycardia (abnormally rapid heartbeat) and food poisoning.
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Telegrams/faxes/airmail letters in French if
- expressing concern at reports that Maître Aref Mohamed Aref and Ali Aref
Bourhane have been refused their daily food supply from their relatives and
urging that they be given a proper diet immediately;
- expressing concern that they are being held in a remote prison where
conditions are poor and medical facilities are inadequate and their relatives
do not have regular access to them;
- urging that they be examined by a doctor to ensure that the two men, and
particularly Aref Mohamed Aref, have not suffered physiological damage as a
consequence of being deprived of food and that they receive any necessary medical
page 2 of FU 305/91
- explaining also Amnesty International's concern that they and others
arrested with them have been held for a long period in pre-trial detention,
and that the court which would try their case, the State Security Tribunal,
does not meet international standards of impartiality;
- expressing the fear that they may be detained solely on account of their
non-violent opposition to the government.
Son Excellence Monsieur Hassan Gouled APTIDON Son Excellence
Président de la République
La Présidence
Djibouti, République de Djibouti
Telegrams: President Aptidon, La Presidence, Djibouti
Faxes: + 253 3550 49; + 253 3501 74
Son Excellence Monsieur Barkad Gourad HAMADOU Son Excellence
Premier Ministre
Office du Premier Ministre
BP 2086, Djibouti, République de Djibouti
Telegrams: Premier Ministre Hamadou, Djibouti
Monsieur Ahmed Boulaleh BARREH Monsieur
Ministre de l'Intérieur
Ministère de l'Intérieur
BP 2086, Djibouti, République de Djibouti
Telegrams: Ministre de l'Interieur Barreh, Djibouti
Monsieur Ismael Omar GUELLE Monsieur
Chef du cabinet présidentiel
La Présidence
BP 6, Djibouti, République de Djibouti
Telegrams: Chef du cabinet presidentiel, Djibouti
Mohamed Djama ELABE
Ministre de la Santé
Ministère de la Santé
Djibouti, République de Djibouti
Monsieur Ougoureh Hassan IBRAHIM
Ministre de la Justice
Ministère de la Justice
BP 12
Djibouti, République de Djibouti
Monsieur Moumin Bahdon FARAH
Ministre des Affaires Etrangères
Ministère des Affaires Etrangères
BP 1863
Djibouti, République de Djibouti
and to diplomatic representatives of Djibouti in your country
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 11 December 1991.

Voir le rapport en English