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Police violence and mass arrests in Omdurman following reported gang-rape of Nuba woman by police o

07-08-2014, 11:52 PM
african centre for justice
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Police violence and mass arrests in Omdurman following reported gang-rape of Nuba woman by police o

    The African Centre for Justice and Peace
    Studies
    Police violence and mass arrests in Omdurman following reported gang-rape of Nuba woman by police officers
    (8 July 2014) On the night of 22 June police in the Almolazmeen area of Khartoum’s twin city Omdurman arrested 40 individuals of Nuba ethnicity, beating those arrested and using racist and discriminatory language against them. According to eye-witness accounts, at least 40 police were deployed to the area and targeted people based on their Nuba ethnicity in apparent retaliation for the beating of a police officer accused of raping a woman of Nuba ethnicity along with two other police officers earlier that night. The 40 detainees, including at least 14 children and the woman who was reportedly gang-raped by police officers prior to her arrest, were taken to Omdurman central police station.

    34 individuals were released the same night without charge. Four men and two women, including the woman who was reportedly gang-raped, were detained overnight and released on bail on the following day, 23 June. The group was charged under article 69 (disturbance of public peace) of the 1991 Sudanese Penal Code. Many of those released reported being subjected to beatings, verbal abuse including racist language, and threats of sexual violence whilst in detention.

    Rape of a Nuba woman by police in Nile beach, Almolazmeen

    Following a wedding at Almokhlis church in Almolazmeen, Omdurman on the evening of 22 June, a large group of youth from the Nuba ethnic group went to nearby Almolazmeen Park and Nile beach in Almolazmeen to celebrate. Roughly twenty young women and girls went to Nile beach, and the men and boys went to the park.

    Whilst at Nile beach, the group of women were reportedly approached by three police officers, one of whom was plain clothed. The police asked which members of the group were single, and forced three of the women to stay. The rest of the women were ordered to leave Nile beach.

    Of the three women forced to stay, two managed to escape. The third woman, “JH”, 26 years of age, was unable to escape. The two women that had managed to escape informed some of the male youth celebrating in nearby Almolazmeen park. A group of men and boys rushed to Nile beach, where they attacked and beat one of the police officers. JH disclosed to them that she had been raped by the three police officers.

    Mass arrest and detention of members of the Nuba ethnic group

    Following the beating of the police officer, at around 8pm, four trucks carrying roughly fifteen armed police officers each were deployed to Almolazmeen. The police reportedly targeted individuals who appeared to be members of the Nuba ethnic group for arrest. 40 Nuba youth, all of whom Christian, were beaten by the police and subjected to verbal abuse, including derogatory and racist language, whilst being arrested and transferred to Omdurman central police station. The group included at least fourteen children and the woman who reported that she was raped. Some of the women and girls arrested reported having their mobile phones and money stolen by the police.

    Available names of those subjected to arrest are below.

    Rehab Awad, (f), 17 years of age.
    Rayan Taymo, (f), 17 years of age.
    Rodaya Hassan, (f), 15 years of age.
    Majina Harun, (f), 14 years of age.
    Faryana Abdulrahman, (f), 14 years of age.
    Amira Majdi, (f), 15 years of age.
    Iqbal Musa, (f), 18 years of age.
    Omima Amyoon, (f), 19 years of age.
    Rowyana Kamal, (f), 14 years of age.
    Razi Kuku, (m), 14 years of age.
    Shereen Tariq, (f), 17 years of age.
    Mary Yousif, (f), 16 years of age.
    Julia Suliman, (f), 14 years of age.
    Rania Bolis, (f), 19 years of age.
    Basheer Showal, (m), 18 years of age.
    Nabeel James, (m), 17 years of age.
    Bolis Ali, (m), 18 years of age.
    Yoanis James, (m), 17 years of age.
    Several released detainees reported being subjected to racist and other verbal abuse during their arrest and whilst in custody, including threats of sexual violence. Male and female detainees were separated at Omdurman Central Police. One female detainee reported being told that “you are all Nuba and don’t have any value, you can only be used for #######; may God kill all you Nuba”. Two female students, aged 14 and 16 and resident in Ombada Wad Albasheer, Omdurman, reported being forced to stand against the wall at the police station whilst one officer in uniform repeatedly called them “whores” and threatened to rape them outside the police station and then detain them again. The officer slapped one of the girls across her face. A police officer responsible for registering detainees also threatened several of the female detainees with rape. Two male detainees suspected of being responsible for beating the police officer at Nile beach were severely beaten in custody.

    34 members of the group were released at 11pm the same evening without charge.

    Six other detainees, two women (including JH) and four men, were held overnight. The following morning, on 23 June, they were reportedly lined up in two rows, slapped, and beaten with sticks. They were then transferred in a police lorry at 3pm to South Abkadook court, where they were charged under article 69 (disturbance of public peace) of the 1991 Sudanese Penal Code and released on bail.

    The African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS) condemns the reported use of racist abuse, threats of sexual violence, and beatings of detainees in the strongest terms. ACJPS is deeply concerned that the arrests appear to have been arbitrary, based solely on the ethnic profiling of the individuals concerned, and that the violence meted out against the detainees appears to have been racially aggravated. ACJPS is particularly concerned that JH was detained by the same forces that are alleged to have gang-raped her and that she now faces criminal charges. The organisation calls on the Government of Sudan to order a prompt and independent investigation into the allegations of gang-rape by three police officers and allegations of arbitrary arrest, physical assault and racist abuse against the detainees.

    Background

    The Nuba ethnic group is comprised of a number of ethnic groups native to South Kordofan, where a conflict between the Government of Sudan and Sudanese Peoples’ Liberation Movement – North (SPLM-N) broke out in June 2011.

    Serious shortcomings in Sudanese law and law enforcement practices contribute to a lack of prosecutions for rape and other forms of sexual violence in Sudan. ACJPS has documented rape and threats of sexual violence – against women and men – in custodial settings. In one case in February 2011, activist Safia Ishag was gang-raped by three National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) agents in Khartoum. She and her family received threats from authorities after she attempted to lodge a police complaint. A prominent independent journalist, Faisal Mohamed Salih, was charged with the publication of false news and defamation in May 2011 after he published an article calling for an independent investigation into the case. ACJPS and the Redress Trust submitted a complaint against the Government of Sudan to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights in respect of her case.

    Contact: Katherine Perks, Programme Director, Kampala, on [email protected] or +256 775072136.
                  

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