Thursday, April 06, 2006

Latest Amnesty urgent action on Sudan

There are lots of new developments on Sudan. On April 4, Amnesty condemned Sudan's denial of permission to a UN Under-Secretary General Jan Egeland to visit Sudan. Yesterday, Sudan backed down and gave the official permission to go to Darfur.

On Wednesday, the US House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a measure to deny entry to the United States to Sudanese implicated in war crimes in Darfur and freeze their assets. The bill, which needs to be passed by the Senate, also bars aid to countries which violate the U.N. Security Council resolutions that impose an embargo on arms transfers to Sudan. The bill, while it allows the President to assist the expansion of the African Union forces, it does not authorize US force.

The New York Times is reporting that African Union peacekeepers have been accused of raping and abusing women and girls in Darfur.

Amnesty expressed its concern in a press release on March 16 that Sudan was closing down the offices of The Sudan Social Development Organisation (SUDO), an NGO conducting training on human rights monitoring. Now Sudan is detaining members of political parties.


05 April 2006
UA 78/06 Incommunicado detention/fear of torture

Ali Hussain Mohamed Omer (m) ]
Mohammed Omer (m) ] members of Beja Congress
Haroun Mohamed Ali (m) ]

The three men named above, who are members of the Beja
Congress, a political party which also has a small armed
wing, are now known to have been arrested by the National
Security Forces on 7 March at their homes in the eastern city
of Kassala. They are held incommunicado, without charge, in
unknown locations in the area. They are at grave risk of

They have apparently been on hunger strike since 2 April in
protest at their continued detention.

The National Security Forces have the power to detain people
incommunicado for up to nine months, under the National
Security Act 1999. Amnesty International has received many
reports of people held in this way being tortured.

The Beja Congress is one half of an armed opposition group
operating in eastern Sudan, the Eastern Front. It has some
armed members but is predominantly a political organisation,
which campaigns for the rights of the nomadic Beja ethnic
group. The Beja and other ethnic groups in eastern Sudan
claim they have been marginalised for many years by the
central government, which has failed to provide them with
even basic services.

Beja Congress members have been repeatedly subjected to
politically motivated arrests. In January 2005, scores of
people were arrested and more than 20 were killed when the
security forces dispersed Beja-dominated demonstrations
demanding a share in power and equal opportunities for the
people of the region.. Many of those arrested were Beja
Congress members. After six months in custody without charge,
most were released.

RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly
as possible:
- expressing concern that Ali Hussain Mohamed Omer, Ali Omer
Mohamed Ali and Haroun Mohamed Ali have been held
incommunicado since 7 March, and calling on the authorities
to reveal where they are held immediately;
- calling on the authorities to release all three
immediately, unless they are to be promptly with a
recognizably criminal offence and given a fair trial;
- seeking assurances that they will not be tortured or ill-
- calling on the authorities to ensure that all three are
given immediate access to their families, legal counsel and
any medical attention they may need.

Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamed
Governor of Kassala
Fax: 011 249 0 411 823099
Salutation: Your Excellency

Mr Muhammad Ali al-Maradhi
Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Ministry of
Justice, Khartoum, Sudan
Fax: 011 249 183 780796 (Please mark, "FAO Minister
of Justice")
Salutation: Dear Minister

Dr Abdel Moneim Osman Taha
Rapporteur, Advisory Council for Human Rights, Khartoum,

Ambassador Khidir Haroun Ahmed
Embassy of the Republic of the Sudan
2210 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington DC 20008
Fax: 1 202 667 2406

Please send appeals immediately. Check with the AIUSA Urgent
Action office if sending appeals after 17 May 2006.

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