Re: Mohamed Badwi and others
To: President of the Republic of Sudan – General Omar Hassan al-Bashir
From: Joseph Hoffer, Lawyer
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 Mohamed Badawi and Members of the Amel Centre.
We are advised that Mr. Badawi has been subjected to arrest, interrogation and threatened criminal proceedings because of his professional activities relating to human rights issues and because of his role as an executive of the Amel Centre. We are also aware that other Members of the Amel Centre have been harassed, interrogated and intimidated by agents of the National Security Bureau (NSB), all in relation to their professional activities in representing victims of torture, assault and human rights violations.
We are writing to you to urge you to guarantee, under all circumstances, the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Badawi and his colleagues, members and clients of the Amel Centre. We further request that you take steps to ensure that the NSB and other governmental agencies cease their harassment and intimidation of these 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”.
Article 5 of the Declaration provides:
“For the purpose of promoting and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms, everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, at the national and international levels: (a) to meet or assemble peacefully; (b) to form, join and participate in non-governmental organizations, associations or groups; and (c) to communicate with non-governmental or intergovernmental organizations.”
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”.
More generally, we ask that you take steps to ensure in all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in Sudan in accordance with its national laws, the National Interim Constitution (2005) and international human rights standards.
The above-referenced 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.
Please reply to this correspondence and confirm that Mr. Badawi’s professional activities as a lawyer will not be impeded or punished by further actions against him.