Re: Mr. Aba Zer Ahmed Abu Al Bashir, lawyer, Nyala, Southern Darfur, Mr. Adel Abdallah Nasr al-Din, lawyer, Nyala, Southern Darfur, Mr. Salih Mahmud Osman, lawyer, Nyala, Southern Darfur
To: H.E. Lt. General Omar Hassan al-Bashir, President of the Republic of Sudan
From: C.A. Morris, BA, LLB, LLM
We have received information that Mr. Aba Zer Ahmed Abu Al Bashir, a lawyer and human rights defender with the Sudan Organization Against Torture (SOAT) network was arrested by the security forces from his office in Nyala on July 24, 2004. We understand that Mr. Aba Zer was arrested after he signed a request to the Governor of Southern Darfur state to put an end to the conflict in the state. Our information is that ten other peace activists and tribal leaders who signed the request were also arrested in various locations Southern Darfur. We understand that Mr. Aba Zer is currently being detained at the security Offices in Nyala. No official charges have been laid against him, and he has been denied visits.
We also remind you of our letter of July 10, 2004 in which we expressed concerns about information received about Mr. Adel Abdallah Nasr al-Din, another SOAT lawyer in Nyala, who was arrested by security forces on June 16, 2004. We understand that he is still in detention, and that he has not been charged with any offence. We also wrote to you on July 10, 2004 about another lawyer, Mr. Salih Mahmud Osman, who has been in detention without charge since February 1, 2004.
We wish to draw to your attention to the provisions of the Declaration on Humans Rights Defenders, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 9, 1998. Article 1 of the Declaration 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 12§2 provides that “[t]he 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…”
We also remind you of other international human rights conventions and instruments to which Sudan is a signatory, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).
We urge your government to take immediate steps to ensure the physical safety and psychological wellbeing of Mr. Aba Zer Ahmed Abu Al Bashir, as well as Mr. Adel Abdallah Nasr al-Din, and Mr. Salih Mahmoud Osman. We request that these individuals be given immediate and unrestricted access to legal council, family members and any medical treatment they may need. We also request that you order their immediate release unless they are immediately charged with a valid offence and brought before an impartial court for a fair trial without delay. In addition, we urge you to do your utmost to ensure that all persons detained without charges in Sudan are released immediately.
We respectfully continue to urge your government to do its utmost to ensure that all officials or others acting on behalf of your government respect the international human rights standards to which Sudan is bound as a member of the international community. Sudan’s ongoing State of Emergency does not abrogate your government’s responsibilities to uphold core standards of international human rights including article 14 of the ICCPR.
We have seen the statement of the Advisory Council for Human Rights on its official website that the government of Sudan “is committed to respecting the human rights of everyone under its jurisdiction.” Therefore, we hope you will write to us urgently by fax at +1-604-736-1175, or email to email@example.com to tell us to how your government is addressing these concerns.