Mr. Mohammad Abdallah Duma and Mr. Mohammad Harun Kafi, lawyers

Re: Mr. Mohammad Abdallah Duma and Mr. Mohammad Harun Kafi, lawyers

To: Mr. Ali Osman Mohammad Taha, First Vice President

From: C.A. Morris, BA, LLB, LLM, Member, LRWC

Date: 2004-01-19

Lawyers Rights Watch Canada (LRWC), is a committee of Canadian lawyers provides support internationally to lawyers in danger and promotes the enforcement of human rights standards protecting the right and duty of lawyers to uphold the rule of law. We are writing to express our grave concern about the following persons who are being detained incommunicado and without charges at security forces detention centres or Kober prison in Khartoum:

Mr. Mohammad Abdallah Duma, lawyer and former Minister of Local Government
Mr. Mohammad Harun Kafi, lawyer
Mr. Abdel Shafie Issa Mustafa, former Sudan Textile employee
Mr. Adam al-Zubayr Issa, merchant
Mr. Adam Mohammad Osman, merchant
Mr. Ahmed Hassan Abdel Rahman, banker
Mr. Ahmed Taher Ahmed Shattah, electronic technician
Mr. Al-Fadi Tambour, teacher
Mr. Bushara Bushra Abdel Rahman
Mr. Idris Mohamed Ali, merchant
Mr. Ismail Abdallah Musa, teaching assistant
Mr. Hashem Hammam, student
Mr. Mohammad Ismail, student
Mr. Mohammad Abu Bakr Idris
Mr. Mohammad Issa, pharmacist
Mr. Suleiman Ahmed Hussein

The specific reasons for the arrest of these people are not known. However, we understand they are being held under Article 31 of the National Security Forces Act along with many others arrested by military or national security forces in Khartoum, Nyala, Geneina and other towns in the Darfur region since the collapse on December 17, 2003 of negotiations to end the conflict in this region. We understand Article 31 allows detention for up to nine months without access to judicial review. Reports from Amnesty International express concern that these persons may be at risk of torture or ill-treatment by national security forces or military intelligence.

We respectfully draw your attention to Article 9 of the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) which Sudan has ratified. This convention prohibits arbitrary detention of individuals and states that anyone arrested on a criminal charge should be brought promptly before a judicial authority and be entitled to trial within a reasonable time or else released. The Convention also provides that detainees should not be held incommunicado or without charges.

We also respectfully request that you provide assurances to prevent torture or ill-treatment of any of the detainees and that you instruct relevant authorities to allow them immediate access to their families, legal counsel and any medical care they may need.

We greatly appreciate your attention to our concerns, and await your response.