Re: Mr. Mossaad Mohamed Ali; Ms. Rasha Souraj; Ms. Ebthisam Alsemani; and Ms. Najat DafaAlla
To: H.E. Lieutenant General Omar Hassan al-Bashir, President of the Republic of Sudan
From: Joseph Hoffer, LRWC
I am a lawyer and Sudan Monitor of Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada. I am writing to request your assurance with respect to the treatment of the above-named persons, all of whom are legal counsel working in Sudan.
We are advised that the above-named individuals are being subjected to interrogation and threatened criminal proceedings because of their professional activities through the Amel Centre in defending the rights of five people from the Otash Camp.
We are writing to you to urge you to guarantee, under all circumstances, the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Mossaad Mohamed Ali; Ms. Rasha Souraj; Ms. Ebthisam Alsemani; and Ms. Najat DafaAlla. We further request that you ensure that the authorities put an end to any act of harassment, including judicial harassment, against the above-named individuals.
As you know, it is the obligation of the authorities in the Sudan to conform with Article 1 of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders (adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations December 9, 1998). This Article states that:
“Everyone has the right, individually or in association with others, to promote the protection and realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels”.
Article12.2 of the same Declaration provides that:
“The state shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually or in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise referred to in the present Declaration”.
The above-named individuals, in carrying out their professional responsibilities, should not face harassment or intimidation by the State. We trust that you will give your assurance that their rights and integrity will be safeguarded while in the hands of Sudanese authorities. We, together with other rights organizations in the international community, will continue to monitor Sudan’s treatment of these individuals and would appreciate your assurances at your earliest opportunity.