Sudan: Detention of Students and Lawyers | Letter

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March 24, 2014

HE Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir Office of the President
People’s Palace
PO Box 281
Khartoum, Sudan

Mohamed Bushara Dousa Ministry of Justice
PO Box 302, Al Nil Avenue
Khartoum, Sudan

Your Excellencies:
Re: Detention of Students and Lawyers

Lawyers Rights Watch Canada (LRWC) is a committee of lawyers and academics who campaign internationally for advocacy rights, advocates in danger, and on rule of law issues and engage in legal research and education about international human rights law. I am a lawyer and a partner of a law firm in Canada, Cohen Highley LLP. I am writing, as a member of LRWC, in response to information obtained from Amnesty International.

Hamdan Abdallah, Ashraf Mohamed Osman, Ghazi El Rayeh Elsanhori, Abdelmoniem Adam Mohamed, Abdelaziz Eltoum Ibrahim, Eisa Salih Ibrahim, Elzaoubir Abdelmajeed, Mohamed Idris Jido, Ibrahim Salih Ibrahim, El Radi Ali Ibrahim and Mohammed Salah Abdelrahman are students, activists and lawyers from Darfur but living in Khartoum. We are advised through Amnesty International that these eleven people were arrested on 11 March 2014 without charge, are being held incommunicado in an undisclosed location and are therefore at risk of torture and other ill-treatment.

LRWC express their deepest concern at these arrests and incommunicado detentions which seem directed at inhibiting human rights activities and the legitimate exercise of the right to freedom of expression as protected by Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, ratified by Sudan 18 June 1986. We therefore call on the authorities to guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of these eleven people, and them immediately and unconditionally as their detention is arbitrary.

Lawyers Rights Watch Canada urges the authorities of Sudan to:

  1. either immediately release these detainees, and all students arrested in connection with the protest on March 11th, or charge them with recognizable crimes and grant pre-trial release;
  2. guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of the detainees;
  3. reveal their location and give them access to lawyers of their choosing, to medical treatment and to their families;
  4. ensure that the detainees are not subject to torture or any ill-treatment;
  5. conform with the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in particular its Article 3, which states that “everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person”; its article 5 which provides that “no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”; and its Article 20 (1) which provides that “everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association”; and,
  6. ensure in all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international human rights standards and international instruments ratified by Sudan.

We are hopeful you will investigate promptly the allegations outlined above and implement the relief requested. Your confirmation of receipt of this correspondence and actions to betaken would be appreciated.

Yours Very Truly,

Joe Hoffer
Sudan Monitor
Lawyers Rights Watch Canada

cc: Mr Musa Abdelrahim Mohamed Adam Chargé d’Affaires, Embassy of Sudan 354 Stewart Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1N 6K8

Ibrahim Mohamed Hamed Ministry of Interior
PO Box 873
Khartoum, Sudan

Maini Kiai,
Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association Palais des Nations
CH-1211 Geneva 10
Fax : + 41 22 917 9006
Email :

Gabriela Knaul
UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Lawyers and Judges Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights United Nations Office at Geneva
8-14 Avenue de la Paix 1211
Geneva 10 Switzerland
Fax: +41 22 917 9006