Continued arbitrary arrests and incommunicado detention of Sudanese citizens amidst crackdown on January 2018 peaceful protests

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The African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies has continued to monitor the on-going crackdown of peaceful protests including arbitrary arrests and detention of Sudanese citizens, transfer of opposition political leaders to remote prisons in Darfur, confiscation of newspapers, harassment of journalists amidst growing public unrest and a call for a protest scheduled to happen on 31 January at the Al Shabia square in Khartoum Bahri.

On 26 and 28 January, the NISS of Khartoum transferred nine opposition political party leaders from their custody centre in Khartoum to the NISS political section in Zalingei and Shalla prisons in Darfur state.

“The continued incommunicado detention and transfer of detainees to remote prisons, regardless of their age and health conditions, violates their rights as guaranteed under Sudan’s Interim National Constitution and international treaties that Sudan is a party to,” said ACJPS’ Human Rights Monitoring Director. “The fact that these events are going on amidst discussion about the presidential candidate for the 2022 elections by the ruling party indicates that the current unrest in Sudan is trivial to the ruling party and they will do whatever it takes to remain in power.”

In this report, ACJPS provides an update on the government’s response to the growing unrest since our last report. The report documents the transfer of political leaders to remote prisons in Darfur, confiscation of newspapers, submission of a constitutional petition on behalf of 11 detainees, crackdown of student protestors, continued arbitrary arrest and detention of political leaders, students, human rights defenders, activists and others, harassment of a journalist by NISS and alleged torture and ill-treatment of detainees by the NISS.

ACJPS is seriously concerned for about the continued incommunicado detention of individuals particularly those who have been allegedly tortured and individuals of advanced age with health conditions.

ACJPS condemns the on-going silencing of political opposition members, activists, and human rights defenders through arbitrary detention, despite constitutional guarantees to the freedom of expression, association, and assembly.

We call upon the Government of Sudan to

  • Guarantee the safety and well-being of all detainees and grant them immediate and unequivocal access to their lawyers and family members, medical services and release them in the absence of valid legal charges consistent with international standards.
  • Order their immediate release in the absence of valid legal charges that are consistent with international law and standards or, if such charges exist, bring them promptly before an impartial, independent and competent tribunal and guarantee their procedural rights at all times.
  • Desist from harassing and intimidating individuals, human rights defenders, peaceful activists and journalists and enable the free exercise of the right to freedom of expression, association, and assembly.
  • Conduct an immediate, independent and impartial investigation into all allegations of excessive use of force, ill-treatment and torture by police and NISS. Findings of such investigation should be made public and perpetrators should be held accountable before an independent and impartial tribunal.
  • Respect the right of Sudanese people to peacefully protest and fully exercise their rights to freedom of assembly and association and freedom of expression, as recognised in the Interim National Constitution of Sudan, 2005.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS).

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African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS)
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