SUDAN: Amnesty International Urgent Action: Two men held by armed opposition group faction risk torture, death
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Jun 10, 2006 - 5:07:00 AM
PUBLIC AI Index: AFR 54/023/2006
9 June 2006
UA 166/06 Fear for Safety/Fear of Torture/Fear of Extrajudicial Execution
SUDAN Suleiman Jamous (m), aged about 60, Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) commander
Isa Ali Hassaballah (m), aged 44, SLA member
Suleiman Jamous, formerly humanitarian coordinator in an armed opposition group in Darfur, has been held incommunicado in North Darfur by the leader of another faction of the same armed group since 20 May. Others held by the same faction in the past have been tortured or killed. A member of Suleiman Jamous's faction, Isa Ali Hassabullah, is still detained and has reportedly been tortured. UN and African Union monitors have been unable to gain access and Amnesty International is now gravely concerned for the men's safety.
Suleiman Jamous is a commander with the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA), which has been fighting against the marginalization of Darfur. He has often spoken out against the increasingly dictatorial behaviour of the SLA's leaders. As the SLA "humanitarian coordinator" he was in charge of distributing food aid in SLA-controlled areas. He was seized on the night of 20 May by members of the SLA faction led by Mini Arcou Minawi.
Mini Minawi's faction of the SLA supports the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA), which he and the government of Sudan signed on 5 May. Other SLA factions and most of those displaced by Janjawid militias have opposed the DPA, because they do not believe it will give them compensation and security to return home. The men who seized Suleiman Jamous reportedly told him to sign the DPA.
Isa Ali Hassaballah was seized on 22 May when he went to Bir Maza with 16 civilians to ask Mini Minawi to release Suleiman Jamous. They were reportedly tortured by being beaten and whipped while bound. Three were apparently paraded round Bir Maza in an open truck. Later Bir Maza came under attack by another SLA faction and detainees were moved to an unknown place. All the Zaghawa civilians except Isa Ali Hassaballah were released on 29 May.
The African Union received testimonies from those who were tortured and took photographs of their torture. They travelled to Muzbat where Suleiman Jamous was thought to be detained but neither they nor the UN human rights monitors were able to gain access to him, although Mini Minawi, in a telephone conversation with Amnesty International, promised that access could be granted. He is now believed to have been moved to Abu Gamra, another remote SLA base.
The DPA was signed by the government and Mini Minawi's faction of the SLA at a peace conference mediated by the African Union, the United States and the United Kingdom. The other two major armed opposition groups operating in Darfur, the other faction of the SLA, led by Abdel Wahed Mohamed Nur (from the largest ethnic group in Darfur, the Fur), and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), led by Khalil Ibrahim, did not sign.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Commanders of the Sudan Liberation Army (Mini Minawi) have only Thuraya satellite phones (mobile phones which work off a satellite) , so please send brief text messages giving your name and country and saying: "Concerned for safety of Jamous and Isa Ali" or similar
Mini Arcou Minawi
President of SLA (MM)
Satphone: +88216 215 23864
Satphone +88216 212 81436
Please also send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible to the US and UK international facilitators of the peace agreement, in English or your own language:
- asking them to use their influence to ensure that the Sudan Liberation Army (Mini Minawi) ceases to torture and that no one is detained simply for expressing opposition to the Darfur Peace Agreement.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
Department of State
2201 C Street, NW
Washington DC 20520
Fax: +1 202 647 2283
Salutation: Dear Secretary of State
Rt Hon Margaret Beckett MP
Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street
London SW1A 2AH
Fax: +44 20 7008 2144
Salutation: Dear Secretary of State
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat, or your section office, if sending appeals after 22 July 2006.
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