The Darfur Bar Association and its partners condemned the detention of Badreldin Siddig, lawyer and member of the resistance committee active in the Sheikh Abu Zeid neighbourhood adjacent to the Libya Market in Omdurman, and Abdelmajeed Arbab, Coordinator of the Libya Market Unit, and other activists.
In a statement yesterday, the lawyers also condemned the detention of nine medical staff members of Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in Khartoum on Monday. The DBA described the detention campaign as “malicious and unjust”, and holds the military regime fully responsible for any harm or damage inflicted on them.
The authorities in Kadugli, South Kordofan, detained Azahir Mohamed on January 19 for publishing an article on her Facebook account about the army’s recruitment of minors in Kadugli, before releasing her on bail four days later.
She is one of the activists in South Kordofan who are circulating information on social media that the 14th Infantry Division command in Kadugli recruited hundreds of minors.
A group of men riding in a shaded vehicle blocked the car of Nafeesa Hajar, deputy head of the Darfur Bar Association (DBA), when she was heading home in Khartoum on Tuesday evening.
The group, whose identity was not revealed, threatened the lawyer if she and her colleagues would continue to provide legal aid to detained protesters and those who were sexually harassed and raped during the December 25 demonstrations.
The DBA said in a statement yesterday that more of its lawyers have been intimidated in the same way.
The Association stated that it will continue to do its work, which is “providing legal aid to those affected by human rights violations and championing rights and freedoms issues”.
The Darfur lawyers will submit a memorandum to the Attorney General requesting “to take these threats seriously as well as the criminal infringement that may result from them”.
Sudanese security authorities should immediately release people arbitrarily detained since the military takeover on October 25, 2021, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International said today. Security authorities should also cease further arbitrary arrests and stop using unnecessary, including lethal, force in response to peaceful protests.
From the early hours of October 25, security agents in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, detained at least 30 civilian political leaders, including six cabinet members. On the same day the army also detained Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, and two days later placed him under house arrest. Permission from the military is required for anyone to meet with him while he is under house arrest. By midday, Lt. General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the chairperson of the Sovereign Council – a collective presidency body of civilian and military leaders – announced to the media that he was installing a nationwide state of emergency and dissolving the cabinet and Sovereign Council.
“Over the last two weeks the military has resorted to its well-trodden and brutal tactics, undermining small but important progress on rights and freedoms that Sudanese from all walks of life have fought for,” said Mohamed Osman, Sudan researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The military should immediately free all those arbitrarily detained over the last two weeks and end all illegal detentions, including enforced disappearances, by the military.”
Wagdi Salih, a lawyer and another prominent figure in the Committee for Dismantling the Former Regime, was also arrested on October 25. A family member authorized to speak on behalf of his family said that about 20 armed men in civilian clothes forced their way into Salih’s house around 4 a.m. and forcefully grabbed him from his bedroom while they held the guards in the house at gunpoint and handcuffed his son.
The family heard through social media that Salih and others were taken to the police federal investigations unit in Bahri, Khartoum North, and went to inquire about him. However, the police said he was not in their custody, and the office of the attorney general could not offer any information on Salih’s whereabouts either.
Under international law, when anyone is detained by state forces and their detention is either not acknowledged or the person’s whereabouts is concealed, placing them outside the protection of the law, this is an enforced disappearance. Enforced disappearances are forbidden in all circumstances.
Two women and a lawyer have been subjected to excessive violence by members of the Community Police in Khartoum on Monday afternoon. The No to Women’s Oppression Initiative and the Sudanese Women Union strongly condemned the incident.
The National Human Rights Commission reported in a press statement yesterday that members of the commission visited the women victims at the Community Police station in El Deim neighbourhood in Khartoum. One of the women sustained injuries on the face, the other complained about a back injury.
They did not see lawyer and member of No to Women’s Oppression Initiative El Fateh Hussein, as he was released later on Monday.
The Commission stated they will contact all concerned parties “to prevent impunity and to confirm Sudan’s commitment to fulfilling the requirements of the Convention against Torture”, which was recently ratified by the government. They welcomed the prosecutor’s promise to enable the two women to file a complaint, urging the speeding up of the procedures.
They further stressed the need “to amend the contents of 1991 Criminal Law, to bring them in line with international human rights conventions, in a manner that preserves dignity”.
Public Order police
El Fateh Hussein related on his Facebook account following his release on Monday evening that he was “severely beaten on the head, face, and ears by members of the Community Police (the Public Order Police)”.
He said that he saw men wearing civilian clothes beating up a woman “in her forties” in El Mashtal street at about 12 pm on Monday.
He reproached the men, yet they took her and threw her “like a bag” in a van. Another woman was treated in the same way. The policemen then continued to beat the women with a hose and kick them. They then threw the lawyer in the van as well, and punched him in the face and ears.
“They then took us to the office of the Public Order Police in El Deim, where they pushed the women towards the counter and entered me inside an office. I was severely beaten again and denied a phone call. They also refused to give me a Form 8*.
After he was released, Hussein visited a doctor and went home. He said he hoped other human rights defenders would help them the following morning.
On 17 January 2021, human rights defender Faisal Yousef Mohamed was killed in his house in El Genena city, West Darfur by unknown individuals from armed militant groups. Two of the human rights defenders brothers were murdered in the same incident.
Faisal Yousef Mohamed was human rights defender and paralegal training to become a lawyer. The human rights defender was a member of Hay El Ameerya resistance committee, a committee that frequently organises peaceful demonstrations to promote civil and economic rights in Sudan. Faisal Yousef Mohamed was a member of El Geneana Para Legal Network, a network of paralegals who offered legal assistance to internally displaced people (IDPs) in refugee camps in West Darfur. One of his main areas of human rights work was helping IDPs who had been victims of human rights violation seek justice by connecting them with lawyers.
On 16 and 17 January 2021, Faisal Yousef Mohamed witnessed the outbreak of violent clashes between armed men from the Masalit and Arab communities which occurred near the Krinding Camp for Internally Displaced People in West Darfur. The human rights defender was working with IDPs at the time of the incident. These clashes reportedly resulted in the killing of approximately 160 people and at least 215 people were injured.
Organizations: Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada Item: Item 10: Interactive Dialogue with the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan Date: 16 September 2019 Speaker: Paul Scambler
Oral Statement to the 42nd Session of the UN Human Rights Council from Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada (LRWC), NGO in special consultative status
Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada thanks the Commission for its oral report. We share the Commission’s concern about the securitization of the state and the absence of accountability mechanisms in South Sudan.
LRWC deplores the enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings of lawyer and human rights activist Dong Samuel Luak and political opposition member Aggrey Idri, who were abducted from the streets of Nairobi in January 2017. Both men were vocal critics of the South Sudanese government. In April 2019, the UN Panel of Experts on South Sudan reported that it has corroborated evidence strongly suggesting that these men were kidnapped by the National Security Service (NSS), transported from Kenya to Juba, and executed at an NSS detention facility in Luri on January 30, 2017.
We are alarmed by the apparent cooperation of Kenya in the enforced disappearances of Mr. Dong and Mr. Aggrey, and by the failure of Kenya and South Sudan to impartially and thoroughly investigate these cases. Those responsible have not been held accountable and the families of the victims continue to be denied access to adequate remedies for the losses they suffered.
We call upon the Council to urge the Governments of Kenya and South Sudan to:
Lawyers, journalists, and human rights defenders in Sudan have faced arbitrary detention, torture, and death by Sudanese military and security forces for decades. These military and security forces are often shielded from prosecution. On April 11, 2019, after almost 5 months of civilian-led protests against the regime, the Bashir government was overthrown. Following this, ABA ROLI supported two members of the Darfur Bar Association to attend the 64th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) where they delivered a statement on the current human rights situation in Sudan. In short, the statement calls upon the ACHPR to support the demands of the Sudanese people of the government, to investigate the widespread human rights violations (particularly in Darfur, Nuba Mountains, and Blue Nile States), and to support the release of persons detained by the former regime. The statement was delivered by Abdelrahman Al Gasim, who received the ABA International Human Rights Award in 2018.
Joint Oral Intervention Presented by Mr. Abdelrahman Al Gasim on behalf of Al-Khatim Adlan Centre for Enlightenment, Darfur Bar Association, and Darfur Relief and Documentation Center ACHPR 64th Ordinary Session April 24 – May 14, 2019, Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt
Democratic Alliance of Lawyers calls for lawyers and judges to protest in Khartoum on May 14; further opposition demonstrations likely
The Democratic Alliance of Lawyers is calling on lawyers and judges throughout the country to protest in Khartoumon Tuesday, May 14, to demand the rule of law be reinstated. Demonstrators are being asked to gather on Abdel Moneim Mohamed Street, west of the Supreme Court buildings, starting at 13:00 (local time). Opposition organizations, including the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), are supporting the protest. The lawyers are also calling for judiciary reforms and for the right to fair trials to continue to be upheld by the courts. Heightened security measures and localized traffic disruptions are expected in the area.
Continuing demonstrations and associated clashes between protesters and security forces are to be expected in Sudan, particularly in Khartoum, over the coming days and weeks. Localized transportation and business disruptions are to be expected near demonstration sites.
President Omar al-Bashir was removed from office on April 11 following a military coup led by Defense Minister Awad Mohamed Ahmed Ibn Auf. Following the formation of the Supreme Security Committee, Ibn Auf announced that the military had dissolved the government, suspended the constitution, and would rule the country for two years in a transitional government – known as the Transitional Military Council (TMC) – after which time fresh presidential elections would be held. However, Ibn Auf and his deputy resigned on April 12; Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman Burhan was later named the head of the TMC. Opposition leaders and the TMC have held negotiations over the composition of the council, although both sides have disagreed on the scope of the military’s role in the new government.
For the third consecutive week, thousands of Sudanese have continued their sit-in outside the army general headquarters in Khartoum and other cities in the country to demand full handover of power to civilian government, the arrest of former regime figures and corrupt officials and bringing them to trial.
The pro-freedom marches have been ongoing in Khartoum, El Fasher and Zalingei in Darfur, Tendelti in White Nile state, Wad Madani in El Gezira state who came yesterday on buses to the sit-in in front of the General Command of the army in Khartoum, El Obeid in North Kordofan, Port Sudan in the Red Sea state, El Gedaref, Sennar state, Senga and El Damazin in Blue Nile State witnessed huge sit-ins in front of army units in these towns in support of revolution and protection of their gains.
Yesterday, the crowds of El Gedaref also moved to Khartoum in support of the protesters in front of the General Command while the sit-in in El Gedaref continued in front of the Second Infantry in the town.
Yesterday lawyers in Blue Nile state launched a large demonstration to the sit-in place in solidarity with the decisions of the Declaration of the Forces of Freedom and Change.
The participants raised banners confirming that the Sudanese Professionals Association represents them and others saying yes for trying the corrupt, the rule of law and trying the criminals.