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UA 162/92 - Sudan: legal concern / fear of torture: Hassan Osman, Dr Mohamad al-Gadi, Mustapha Zaki Mustapha, Abdallah Barakat

, N° d'index: AFR 54/019/1992

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AFR 54/19/92
Distr: UA/SC
UA 162/92 Legal Concern/ Fear of Torture 15 May 1992
SUDAN: Hassan Osman, politician
Dr Mohamad al-Gadi, pharmacist
Mustapha Zaki Mustapha, politician
and
Abdallah Barakat - lay preacher
Hassan Osman, Mohamed al-Gadi and Mustapha Zaki Mustapha, members of the banned
Sudan Communist Party (SCP), were arrested in Khartoum on 29 April 1992 on
allegations of possessing leaflets and copies of the al-Maidan newspaper, an
SCP newspaper banned by the government, which is now published underground.
The government considers the banned publication to be seditious literature,
and anyone convicted of possessing it faces the death penalty.
Abdallah Barakat, a prominent member of the Ansar sect and supporter of the
banned Umma party, was arrested at the start of May 1992 and is reported to
be held in incommunicado detention at security headquarters in Khartoum.
Mohamed al-Mahdi, the official imam (religious leader) of the Ansar Mosque
in Sudan's second city of Omdurman and a critic of the government, was detained
at the same time but was released after 10 days. It is not known why either
of these men were arrested, but there are reports that a number of prominent
Ansar have been called to report to the security headquarters over recent weeks.
Amnesty International is concerned that the four men who remain in detention
could be tortured or ill-treated in detention. The place of detention of the
three members of the banned SCP is unknown. It is believed, however, that
they are being held either in the security headquarters in Khartoum or in secret
detention centres known in Sudan as "ghost houses" where torture is widely
reported.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Torture and ill-treatment are routine in "ghost houses" and the security
headquarters. Amnesty International has been able to confirm the torture in
detention centres of more than 100 people arrested since November 1989. One
of their victims, Ali Fadul, a medical doctor, is reported to have died as
a result of torture on 22 April 1990 (see UA 164/90, AFR 54/22/90). More
recently, over 75 civilians and former and serving army officers arrested in
late August 1991 in connection with an alleged coup attempt, were reportedly
tortured in "ghost houses". An elderly prisoner was bound and suspended by
his wrists from the walls of his cell on three consecutive nights. A civilian
prisoner is reported to have had the flesh from his heels sliced off. There
are reports of prisoners being whipped, of others having their testicles crushed
with pliers and of yet others being burnt by hot irons.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Telegrams/telexes/express and airmail letters:
- expressing concern at the arrests of Hassan Osman, Dr Mohamad al-Gadi,
Mustapha Zaki Mustapha and Abdallah Barakat whom Amnesty International believes
may be prisoners of conscience;
- expressing concern at their continuing incommunicado detention without
charge or trial, and fear that they may be being tortured;
page 2 of UA 162/92...
- seeking assurances that they are being humanely treated, that their
whereabouts in custody are made public and that they have immediate and regular
access to their families, lawyers and any necessary medical attention;
- urging that they be immediately and unconditionally released unless they
are to be charged with a recognizably criminal offence and brought promptly
to a fair trial.
APPEALS TO:
1. His Excellency Lieutenant General
Omar Hassan al-Bashir
Head of State and Chairman of the NSRCC
People's Palace
PO Box 281
Khartoum, Sudan
Telegrams: Lt Gen Omar Hassan al-Bashir, Khartoum, Sudan
Telexes: 22385 PEPLC SD; 22411 KAID SD
[Salutation: Your Excellency]
2. Brigadier-General al-Zubeir Mohamed Saleh
Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of the Interior
and Deputy Chairman of the NSRCC
People's Palace
PO Box 281
Khartoum, Sudan
Telegrams: Brig-Gen al-Zubeir Mohamed Saleh, Khartoum, Sudan
Telexes: 22842 WZARA SD; 22604 IPOL SD
[Salutation: Dear Brigadier-General]
3. Minister of Justice and Attorney-General
Ministry of Justice
Khartoum, Sudan
Telexes: 22459 KHRJA SD; 22461 KHRJA SD (via Ministry of Foreign
Affairs)
[Salutation: Dear Minister]
COPIES OF YOUR APPEALS TO:
Mr Jalal Ali Lutfi
Chief Justice
Law Courts
Khartoum
Sudan
Mr Ali Sahloul
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
PO BOX 873, Khartoum
Sudan
and to diplomatic representatives of Sudan in your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 26 June 1992.

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