Re: Saffaa Abdel Rahum Saror and other members of Amel Centre
To: His Excellency Lieutenant General Omar Hassan al-Bashir, President of the Republic of Sudan, and others
From: Joseph Hoffer, Lawyer, LRWC
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 Ms. Saffaa Abdel Rahim Saror, Ms. Nafisa Mohamed Adam, and Ms. Awatif Mohamed Adam as well as Members of the Amel Centre.
We are advised that the three individuals referenced above have been subjected to detention, interrogation and threatened criminal proceedings because of their professional activities relating to social work and human rights advocacy through the Amel Centre. We are also aware that other Members of the Amel Centre have been detained, harassed, interrogated and intimidated by agents of the National Security Bureau (NSB), all in relation to their professional activities in assisting 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 Ms. Saffaa Abdel Rahim Saror, Ms. Nafisa Mohamed Adam and Ms. Awatif Mohamed Adam as well as their 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 named 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 the professional activities of Ms. Saffaa Abdel Rahim Saror, Ms. Nafisa Mohamed Adam and Ms. Awatif Mohamed Adam will not be impeded or violently obstructed by further actions against them.