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Sudan: Arbitrary Detention - Risk of Torture - Risk of Deportation
Press ReleasesSudan: Arbitrary Detention - Risk of Torture - Risk of Deportation

World Organization Against Torture (Geneva)

PRESS RELEASE
11 February 2008
Posted to the web 11 February 2008

The International Secretariat of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) has been informed about the following situation in Sudan.

Brief description of the situation

The International Secretariat of OMCT has been informed by the Sudan Organisation Against Torture (SOAT), a member of OMCT SOS-Torture network, about the arbitrary arrest of Mr. Afandy Farah Mohamed Issa (41), an Ethiopian who has lived in Sudan since 2006 and a member of the Benishangul People’s Liberation Movement. Mr. Afandy Farah Mohamed Issa is reported to have spent two months in Asosa prison in Ethiopia for political reasons before escaping.

According to the information received, Mr. Afandy Farah Mohamed Issa was arrested by the Sudanese security services in el-Showak in the eastern of Sudan on 22 September 2007, and detained in the prison of Dabak, in the north of Khartoum.

On 4 February 2008, Mr. Afandy Farah Mohamed Issa was reportedly transferred to the custody of the immigration police in Khartoum, leading to concerns that he could be deported very soon. He has reportedly not had access to legal representation.

Mr. Afandy Farah Mohamed Issa faces the possibility of being forcible repatriate. He could face torture and death because of his political backgrounds.

The International Secretariat of OMCT expresses its deep concern with regard to the physical and psychological integrity of M. Afandy Farah Mohamed Issa, who is arbitrarily detained and who reportedly faces high risk of torture if deported to his country because of his political background. OMCT calls on the Sudanese Government to guarantee his integrity at all times. As a State party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol, and the African Union (AU) Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa, Sudan is obliged not to forcibly return any individual to a country where he or she could face torture or other serious human rights violations.

Yet, OMCT recalls that six Ethiopians, namely Mr. Haroun Idriss, Mr. Abdala Suliman, Mr. Badreldin Ali, Mr. Mohamed Amin Nardi, Mr. Ibrahim Atbana and Mr. Argana Slfim, were arrested from their homes in July 2007 and subsequently detained in Khartoum, reportedly in the prison of Dabak since 21 December 2007, under the National Security Forces Act. On 15 January 2008, they were transferred from Dabak prison to Kobar prison and have reportedly still no access to legal representation[1].

The six men were reportedly arrested along with three other individuals, namely Mr. Adam Pasilio, Mr. Minika Hailo and Mr. Faisal Mohamed Osman, who were deported to Ethiopia on 27 September 2007 according to a ruling by the Khartoum North Criminal Court after they apparently confessed to residing illegally in Sudan. They have reportedly since been detained by the Ethiopian authorities and held in an unknown location. Subsequently, the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) criticized Sudan for breaking the international law by forcibly repatriating 15 individuals to Ethiopia on 27 September 2007[2].

According to the same information, members of this group had held refugee status in Sudan since 2004 and had permission to remain in the country, which was renewed periodically. They are Muslims belonging to the Oromo ethnic group. It is reported that there is a risk that any of them who are deported to Ethiopia could face death because of their past political activities.

Furthermore, OMCT recalls that four additional Ethiopians, namely Mr. Shibabaw Asefa (approximately 42-years-old), Mr. Achenef Alemu (63-years-old), Mr. Mamai Trunch (40-years-old) and Mr. Abebe Yigletu (age unknown), are also being detained in Kobar prison and may also risk deportation. According to the information received, Mr. Achenef Alemu was arrested in January 2007 and the other three were detained in July 2007. They were reportedly visited by relatives in prison but not by lawyers. All are reportedly Christians belonging to the Amhara ethnic group and all have reportedly refugee status in Sudan. Mr. Shibabaw Asefa and Mr. Mamai Trunch were reportedly previously detained and ill-treated in Ethiopia because of their political activities. They all reportedly fear that, if they are forcefully returned to Ethiopia, they could face torture and death because of their political backgrounds.

Requested Action

Please write to the authorities in Sudan urging them to:

i. Guarantee, in all circumstances, the physical and psychological integrity of the above mentioned individuals;

ii. Guarantee immediate access to their lawyers, family and any medical assistance they may require;

iii. Order their immediate release in the absence of valid legal charges, or, if such charges exist, bring them before an impartial, independent, competent and fair tribunal and guarantee their procedural rights at all times;

iv. Respect its international obligations not to forcibly return anyone to a country where they would be at risk of serious human rights violations such as torture;

v. Ensure the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms throughout the country in accordance with national laws and international human rights standards

Addresses

* His Excellency President Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir, Office of the President, People’s Palace, PO Box 281, Khartoum, Sudan, Fax: +249 183 782541

* His Excellency Salva Kiir Mayardit, First Vice-President, People’s Palace, PO Box 281, Khartoum, Sudan, Fax: + 249 11 779977 / 771025

* His Excellency Ali Osman Mohamed Taha, Vice-President, People’s Palace, PO Box 281, Khartoum, Sudan, Fax: + 249 183 77 10 25

* Mr Muhammad Ali al-Maradhi, Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Ministry of Justice, PO Box 302,Khartoum, Sudan, Fax: +249 183 780796

* Mr Deng Alor, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs/External Relations, PO Box 873, Khartoum, Sudan, Fax: + 249 183 77 93 83

* Mr Al-Zubair Bashir Taha, Minister of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Interior, PO Box 873, Khartoum, Sudan, Fax: +249 183 779383

* Dr Abdelmuneim Osman Mohamed Taha, Advisory Council for Human Rights, Rapporteur, PO Box 302, Khartoum, Sudan, Fax: +249 183 77 08 83

* Permanent Mission of the Republic of Sudan to the United Nations in Geneva, Avenue Blanc 47, 1202 Geneva, Switzerland, Tel: +41 22 731 26 63, Fax: +41 22 731 26 56, Email: mission.sudan@bluewin.ch / mission.sudan@ties.itu.int

* The Embassy of Sudan in Brussels, Avenue F.D. Roosevelt 124, 1050 Brussels, Belgium. Tel.:0032 (2) 647 51 59 / 0032 (2) 647 94 94, Fax: 0032 (2) 648 34 99, Email: sudanbx@yahoo.com

Please also write to the embassies of Sudan in your respective country.

http://www.omct.org/



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