|HE Omar Hassan Ahmad al-BashirOffice of the PresidentPeople’s PalacePO Box281
|Mohammed Bushara DousaMinistry of JusticePO Box302Al Nil Avenue
Re: Detention of Rashida Shams al-Din
Lawyers Rights Watch Canada (LRWC) is a committee of Canadian lawyers and law professors who campaign internationally for advocacy rights and advocates in danger and on rule of law issues.
I am a lawyer and a partner of a law firm in Canada. I am writing, as a member of LRWC, in response to information obtained from Amnesty International indicating that Rashida Shams al-Din is being detained incommunicado without access to her relatives or a lawyer and is at risk of torture and other ill-treatment. Rashida Shams al-Din is a law student at the Open University of Sudan and a member of Girifna, a youth movement which has been involved in demonstrations criticizing the government, particularly in recent weeks.
LRWC express their deepest concern about this case and the prevalence of torture and incommunicado detention which seem to merely aim at inhibiting human rights activities and the legitimate exercise of the right to freedom of expression as protected by Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. We therefore call on the authorities to guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Rashida Shams al-Din, and release her immediately and unconditionally as her detention is arbitrary.
Lawyers Rights Watch Canada urges the authorities of Sudan to:
i. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Rashida Shams al-Din, as well as of all human rights defenders in Sudan;
ii. Put an end to any kind of harassment, including at the judicial level, against Rashida Shams al-Din, as well as of all human rights defenders in Sudan;
iii. Release Rashida Shams al-Din immediately and unconditionally as her detention is arbitrary since it only aims at sanctioning her human rights activities;
iv. Conform with the provisions of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in particular its Article 3, which states that “everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person”; its article 5 which provides that “no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”; and its Article 20 (1) which provides that “everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association”.
v. Ensure in all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international human rights standards and international instruments ratified by Sudan.
We are hopeful you will investigate promptly the allegations outlined above and implement the relief requested. Your confirmation of receipt of this correspondence and actions to be taken would be appreciated.
Yours Very Truly,
Joe Hoffer, Sudan Monitor
Human Rights Watch Canada
Mr Musa Abdelrahim Mohamed Adam
Chargé d’Affaires, Embassy of Sudan
354 Stewart Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1N 6K8
Ibrahim Mohamed Hamed
Ministry of Interior
PO Box 873