Four Sudanese lawyers, who were detained by agents of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) during the last week of December, are still being held incommunicado. More than 200 Sudanese lawyers have signed a petition for their release, calling their detention ‘unconstitutional’.
Three of the lawyers were arrested from their offices in Khartoum on 23, 25 and 28 December, while Tasneem Ahmed Taha was arrested from her office in El Fasher on 26 December and transferred to Khartoum.
In a statement to Radio Dabanga, lawyer and human rights activist Manal Khodjaly described the lawyers’ arrest as “arbitrary and contrary to all international conventions and the citizen rights included in the Constitution”.
She condemns the arrest as “encroachment on the right to freedom of expression, life and work, as well as encroachment on laws”.
Khodjaly called on the government “to respect the constitution and the agreements the state signed by the immediate release of the detainees or to bring them to trial”.
Sje said that “work in the field of human rights is now a crime in the eyes of the government,” referring to the daily arrests of activists.
At least about 223 Sudanese lawyers have now signed a petition condemning the arrest of the four lawyers.
In a statement, the lawyers described the detention as “contrary to the provisions of the Interim Constitution of the Sudan for the year 2005 and violation of the freedoms enshrined in the Bill of Rights and infringement upon the right of expression and life and work, at the same time ignoring the immunity of lawyer and professionally humiliates them”.
In their statement, the lawyers have urged the African Union, the European Union, human rights organisations, political parties and individuals to pressure on the government of Sudan to immediately release or bring them to a fair and public trial.