Sudan: Obstacles to the Freedom of Assembly; Harrassment of Mr. Hatem Salah

Re: Obstacles to the Freedom of Assembly; Harrassment of Mr. Hatem Salah

To: Mr. Salva Kiir Mayardit, First Vice-President

From: Joseph Hoffer

Date: 2009-12-21

I am Mr. Joseph Hoffer, a Canadian lawyer and the Sudan monitor of Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada. I am writing to express my concern, and that of our Organization, for the above mentioned person who was detained and arrested December 16, 2009 by Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services just minutes before he was to speak at a Symposium on “Elections and Democratic Transition”. We are advised that all materials for the Symposium in the possession of Mr. Salah and other organizers were confiscated.

We fundamentally disagree with the wanton disrespect of the independence of the Judiciary and generally, the continuous deterioration of the rule of law in Sudan. We believe that it is the legal duty and obligation of the Government to guarantee the respect for these two cardinal principles of democracy.

We are therefore, deeply troubled by the gross violations of human rights and the inherent freedoms of the above mentioned person and other human rights defenders currently in Sudan.

In order to conform to the local and international legal standards, therefore, we do implore you to immediately take the following actions:

1)Guarantee in all circumstance the physical and psychological integrity of all human rights defenders in Sudan;

2)Put an end to any act of harassment, including at the judicial level, against all human rights defenders in Sudan and ensure in all circumstances that they are able to carry out their human rights activities freely without any hindrances;

3)Conform with the provisions of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 9, 1998, especially its Article 1, which states that “everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to promote and to strive for the protection and realisation of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels” and its Article 12.2, which states that “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”;

4)Ensure in all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international human rights standards and international instruments ratified by Sudan.

These appeals to you are made through Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada. We are hopeful that you will take these appeals seriously. We would be obliged if you would acknowledge receipt of this correspondence and provide a concrete commitment in response to this appeal by responding to the Letterhead address above.