Nour Eldin Mohamed Abdel Rahim, Bahr Eldin Abdallah Rifa and others

Re: Nour Eldin Mohamed Abdel Rahim; Bahr Eldin Abdallah Rifa; Madawi Ibrahim Adam; Osman Adam Abdel Mawla; Salih Mahmoud Osman

To: Lt. General Omar Hassan al-Bashir, President of the Republic of Sudan Ali Osman Yasin, Minister of Justice and Attorney General; Yasir Sid Ahmed, Advisory Council for Human Rights; Mustafa Osman Ismail, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

From: Catherine A. Morris, BA, LLB, LLM

Date: 2004-05-02

LRWC is extremely worried about the many reports of very grave human rights violations in Darfur. We are gravely concerned abou t the wellbeing of Mr. Nour Eldin Mohamed Abdel Rahim, an Omda of Shoba, and Mr. Bahr Eldin Abdallah Rifa, Omda of Jabal Si, both leaders from the Fur tribe. They were both arrested by security officers in Kabkabia on May 9, 2004 after participating in a meeting with local authorities and Red Cross representatives on May 9, 2004, about human rights violations in the Kabkabia region of Darfur. We understand these indidivuals are detained at Kabkabia security offices. They have reportedly been denied visits by family or lawyers.

We are also concerned to hear that Mr. Salih Mahmoud Osman, a member of the lawyers network of the Sudan Organization Against Torture’s (SOAT) is still in detention in Kober prison since his arrest on February 1, 2004, by members of the National Security Agency. The reason for Mr. Salih Mahmoud Osman’s detention is unknown, but it believed he was arrested in connection with his legal activities in the Darfur region.

In addition, we understand that Mr. Madawi Ibrahim Adam, 47, of the Sudan Social Development Organisation (SUDO), a voluntary development and human rights organisation active in Darfur, has been in detention since December 28, 2003. Also, Mr. Osman Adam Abdel Mawla, 39, a human rights activist and a member of SUDO was arrested on May 5, 2004.

The Observatory urges the Sudanese authorities to immediately and unconditionally release these individuals and to comply with the Declaration on Humans Rights Defenders, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 9, 1998, in particular articles 5.c which provides that “everybody has the right […] to communicate with non-governmental and intergovernmental organisations” and 8.2 which provides that everyone has “the right, individually and in association with others, to submit to governmental bodies and agencies and organizations concerned with public affairs criticism and proposals for improving their functioning and to draw attention to any aspect of their work that may hinder or impede the promotion, protection and realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms.”

We also 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 would appreciate your writing urgently to LRWC by mail, e-mail or fax to advise of your response and the actions taken by your government to ensure that the above-named persons, and all others detained in Sudan, are treated in accordance with the Constitution of the Republic of Sudan and the international conventions to which Sudan is a party.