Re: Al-Fadi Tambour, Al-Tayib Mohammed Daf’alla and others
To: Lieutenant General Omar Hassan al-Bashir, President, Republic of Sudan; Mr. Ali Osman Yasin, Minister of Justice and Attorney General
From: Monique Pongracic-Speier, member of LRWC
LRWC is deeply concerned by information received from the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Amnesty International regarding new arrests and continued detentions of human rights defenders, lawyers and others in Darfur, Sudan.
LRWC is informed that Al-Fadi Tambour, Al-Tayib Mohammed Daf’alla, Abdel Karim Araka Tibin, Al-Fadel Adam Mohammed Nurain, Abdel Mannan Abdel Mawla, Adam Abaker Hamed, Alyan Ali Mohammed, Harum Idris Hassan, Ibrahim Musa Ahmed, Mohammed Abdel Karim Abdallah and Mohammed Al-Hafez Ali are being held at Nyala Security Centre, South Darfur, without charge or trial. Credible reports confirm that these men have been tortured or subject to ill-treatment, or both, while in custody. LRWC is seriously worried for their safety.
LRWC is also informed that Abdallah Yusuf Mohammed Abdallah and Ali Mansour Hasaballah are being detained at an unknown location on suspicion of involvement with the Sudan Liberation Army. LRWC is gravely concerned that these men may be subject to torture or mistreatment, as they are being held incommunicado.
Further, we are informed that two leaders of the Fur tribe, Nour Eldin Mohamed Abdel Rahim and Bahr Eldin Abdallah Rifa, were arrested on May 9, 2004, after meeting with local authorities and Red Cross representatives to discuss human rights violations in the Kabkabia region, Darfur. LRWC understands that these two men are being detained at Kabkabia security offices. They have been denied family visits and access to legal counsel. LRWC is concerned for their physical safety and psychological integrity.
LRWC is also informed that Salih Mahmoud Osman, on whose behalf I wrote to some of you on February 9, 2004, remains in custody in Kober Prison. We reiterate our concern that Mr. Osman’s arrest by National Security Agency personnel, and his prolonged detention in Kober Prison, without charge, are motivated by contempt for his activities as a human rights advocate in Darfur. We remain apprehensive about Mr. Osman’s safety and health while in detention. We once again call on you to release Mr. Osman immediately and unconditionally.
Finally, LRWC is informed that Madawi Ibrahim Adam and Osman Adam Abdel Mawla, both of the Sudan Social Development Organisation (“SUDO”), remain in detention without charge since their arrests on December 28, 2003 and May 5, 2004, respectively. SUDO is a voluntary organisation created to promote sustainable development and human rights. It has been active in Darfur, and LRWC is concerned that its activities are the reason for the arrests of Mssrs. Adam and Mawla. LRWC fears for the safety of these two human rights activists while they remain in custody.
LRWC is mindful that the Darfur ceasefire agreement that came into effect on April 11, 2004 provides for the release of all detainees held in connection with the Darfur conflict. LRWC requests that the Government of Sudan honour this commitment and release all of the prisoners named above.
However, so long as the prisoners remain in detention, LRWC urges the Government of Sudan to ensure their humane treatment, in accordance with internationally acceptable standards. Therefore, we expect, and sincerely hope, that the Government of Sudan will ensure that prisoners are not subject to abuse while in custody; have access to medical care, as needed; are provided the opportunity to visit with family; and have effective access to legal counsel.
Given the reports of mistreatment and torture of the prisoners named above, LRWC entreats Sudan to immediately investigate the conditions of detention of Mssrs. Tambour, Daf’alla, Tibin, Nurain, Mawla, Hamed, Mohammed, Hassan, Ahmed, Abdallah, Ali, Abdallah, Hasaballah, Rahim, Rifa, Osman, Adam, and Mawla. We urge you to bring to justice any perpetrators of torture or mistreatment, in accordance with internationally accepted standards for fair trials, and to publicly condemn all mistreatment of prisoners and arrested persons in Sudan.
LRWC also calls on the Government of Sudan to end the practice of indefinite detention without charge. If any of the prisoners named above should continue to be held in Government custody, they must be validly charged and tried without delay before a fair, competent and impartial tribunal exercising its powers pursuant to the rule of law.
LRWC reminds Sudan of its domestic and international legal obligations regarding the detention, treatment and charging of arrested persons, including:
- The Constitution of the Republic of Sudan, and especially Articles 11 and 30, which provide, respectively, that the Republic of Sudan “shall guard justice” and that everyone shall enjoy security of the person, free from arrest or detention, “except in accordance with law which shall prescribe the charge, the maximum time limit that one may be held without charge, the means of release and the conditions of treatment while in detention”;
- The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and especially Articles 9 and 10, dealing with liberty, security of the person, and the right to humane conditions while in detention. We note that Sudan became a State Party to the Covenant in 1986 and that the obligations articulated therein are binding on the Republic of Sudan, as a matter of international law;
- The Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers. We especially note Article 16, which provides, “Governments shall ensure that lawyers are able to perform all of their professional functions without intimidation, hindrance, harassment or improper interference”. Sudan, as a member of the United Nations General Assembly, is bound by the Basic Principles, which was adopted by the General Assembly in 1990.
- The Declaration on the right and responsibility of individuals, groups and organs of society to promote and protect universally recognized human rights and fundamental freedoms, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 9, 1998, and especially Articles 1 and 12(2), the latter of which provides: “The State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and 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 of the rights referred to in the present declaration”.
Your Excellency, Mr. Ministers and esteemed Sirs, the Government of Sudan has an historic opportunity to finally bring peace to the people of Sudan. Peace will be hollow, however, without adequate respect for nationally and internationally recognized human rights. We respectfully urge you to ensure that Government officials and organs act in a manner that is consistent with their legal obligations and fundamental human rights norms.
Please advise LRWC, by mail, e-mail or fax, of the actions that the Government of Sudan is taking in relation to the matters discussed above. LRWC awaits your response.