22nd May 2010
The Popular Congress is extremely concerned regarding the safety and welfare of its detained leaders and members.
The Popular Congress Secretary General Dr Hassan el-Turabi is currently being detained in solitary confinement in the notorious Kober prison in Khartoum North. His family who were allowed to visit him Thursday 20th May 2010 have expressed their fears and concerns regarding his safety and welfare with regards to the inhumane and degrading conditions he is subjected to.
At the age of 78 and suffering from high blood pressure Dr el-Turabi has restricted access to sanitary facilities; indeed he is forced to resort to knocking on his cell door for a guard to unlock his cell to simply go to a bathroom in blatant disregard to his standing, age and medical condition. This has led him to fast from oral intake which may threaten his general condition. His cell has also unregulated air conditioning which has caused him muscular pains and aches and the lights are controlled by his guards.
It is worth noting that a week on from his arrest he has yet to meet a lawyer, know the alleged charges against and in fact has yet to be even questioned! In addition, State security refused to receive a memorandum from a group of lawyers on behalf of Dr el-Turabi on Thursday 20th May 2010.
*Abu Zar Ali Elamin, the deputy editor in chief of the currently suspended Rai el-Shaab newspaper, has confirmed that he has been subjected to physical torture. He reported this to his lawyer as he is now being held under custody at the “Crimes against the State” Prosecution offices where he faces serious accusations including seeking to undermine the regime and waging war against the state. He was severely beaten on his trunk, back and limbs and has now developed blood in his urine: an indication of severe kidney injury. He also lost consciousness while being beaten after being subjected to electric shocks by state security officials.
The whereabouts and conditions of the other 3 detainees from Rai el-Shaab newspaper namely Naji Dahab, Ashraf Abdul Aziz and Abu Bakr el-Sammani remain unknown despite Abu Zar Elamin mentioning that he saw them in the state security offices where they had clear signs of physical torture on them. They have not had any legal or familial access to date.
In view of the above we are extremely worried and concerned about the safety of our brethren and call upon all human rights defenders to intervene and campaign for the release and protection of the above mentioned detainees.
The Popular Congress (