SUDAN HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZATION –
November 29, 2008
Call on Sudanese authorities
to commute death sentences
Sudan Human Rights Organization –
Cairo supports Amnesty International Appeal to the Sudanese authorities (attached) to commute death sentences decided by court, apparently without fair defense, against citizens mostly of Darfuri origin.
As indicated in the AI appeal: “On 10 November 2007, a Criminal Court sentenced 10 people to death for the murder of Mohammed Taha, editor of Sudanese newspaper al-Wifaq, who was found beheaded in Khartoum on 6 September 2006. During the investigation into his murder, the police and the security services conducted large-scale arrests focusing mainly on the Darfuri community of
Khartoum, and rounded up some 72 people. Most were released, while nineteen people, all but one of Darfuri origin, were brought to trial. In August 2007, nine of the nineteen defendants were acquitted and released after almost one year in detention.”
According to AI, “The defense lawyers have now filed an appeal against the nine death sentences at the
Constitutional Court. In mid-November, the
Constitutional Court issued a stay of execution until it has finished deliberating on the case. If the
Constitutional Court confirms the death sentences, the President of Sudan will need to approve the verdict before the executions can be carried out. The timing of the Court's decisions is not predictable.”
SHRO-Cairo believes that these death sentences were imposed in judicial proceedings that appear to be in violation of international fair trial standards;
We call for investigation to be conducted into the allegations of torture and ill-treatment to ensure fair trials for defendants;
Based on the Organization’s belief in rehabilitative and humanitarian alternatives to the death sentence in all Sudanese courts, we call for the nine men's death sentences not to be executed and to be commuted, should the
Constitutional Court confirm them.