Sudan Organisation Against Torture
Human Rights Alert: 14 July 2005
Soba Aradi: Death under torture; Harassments; Detention; Fear of Torture
SOAT is deeply concerned by the government’s continual violation of international humanitarian law and its failure to exercise restraint in its response to events in the Soba Aradi area of Khartoum, populated by internally displaced persons.
Since the violent clashes between protesters and security forces which seized the Soba Aradi area in Khartoum on 18 May 2005, resulting in the death of several people including fourteen police officers and six civilians, the government has deployed extra police, military and security personnel on the streets of Soba in what it claims as a means of restoring peace.
The actions of its security apparatus have been excessive and a violation of fundamental human rights. SOAT has received confirmation of the death of Abdallah DawAlbait Ahmed whilst in police and security custody.
Mr. Abdallah, originally from Darfur, belonging to the Bani Hessian tribe and married with two children was arrested on 24 May 2005 during wide scale searches of the Soba Aradi by security forces and police officers. During the searches, over two hundred people including tribal leaders, families and children were harassed, arrested and detained. Mr. Abdallah whereabouts were unknown, until his family and the family lawyer Mr. Mohamed Ahmed Abdelgadir Alarbab, received information informing them that Mr. Abdalla was in Khartoum Hospital Morgue. In the hospital, the family were informed that Mr. Abdalla arrived in the hospital dead on 8 June 2005. The family have commenced legal inquest into death of Mr. Abdalla.
The government initiation of campaign of mass arbitrary arrests and incommunicado detentions which has resulted in the death of Mr. Abdalla has continued particularly of persons who report the ongoing suppression in the area. According to eye witness accounts, on 8 June 2005, security forces went to the village market ‘souq’ and set alight market stalls.
On 11 June 2005, Security forces arrested and detained Eisa Adam Abdulla, (40 yrs) from the Fur tribe, lives in Soba Aradi. Mr. Eisa was arrested near Farouq Mosque in the central Khartoum after attending a meeting with lawyers from Darfur. Mr. Eisa had provided information to the lawyers on events in the Soba Aradi area.
Mr. Eisa works as a Guard ‘Ghafeer’ for a petroleum company in Alshafa-Khartoum and is volunteer activist representing the interests of the population of Soba Arabi.
SOAT condemns the unlawful killing of Abdallah DawAlbait Ahmed and the arrest of Eisa Adam Abdulla. SOAT calls upon the Government of Sudan (GoS) to take a thorough and independent investigation into the death of Abdalla and into the several people arrested and detained whose whereabouts remains unknown and to give assurances that these people will not be ill-treated or subjected to torture. SOAT calls on the government to ensure that those responsible for Abdalla’s death are brought to justice to demonstrate that it is committed to the rule of law and is working towards ending the culture of impunity so prevalent in its security apparatus.
This continuing pattern of horrific abuse of State power warrants a forceful response from the international community and SOAT is calling on the international community, international NGOs to firmly condemn the actions of the government in Soba Aradi and to place pressure on the government to acknowledge the major causes of the residents of Soba Aradi refusal to relocate and to respond accordingly through economic, social and humanitarian measures according to the law.
SOAT calls on the government of Sudan to:
To fully investigate the death of Abdallah DawAlbait Ahmed and to bring the perpetrators to justice;
Immediately release all the detainees in the absence of valid legal charges, or if legitimate charges exist, bring them before an impartial tribunal and guarantee procedural rights at all times;
Take all necessary measures to ensure the physical and psychological integrity of all the detainees and to ensure that all the detainees have access to legal advice;
Immediately establish an independent, impartial commission of inquiry into the incident and to make the commission findings public upon completion;
Immediately cease its campaign and the wanton destruction of IDP homes in camps outside Khartoum and to commit to the voluntary return of IDPs, ensure safe passage, and compensate IDPs for loss of livelihood caused by the arbitrary seizure of lands and to return these lands;
End impunity for crimes committed by the government security forces;
Guarantee respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedom of association throughout Sudan in accordance with national laws and international human rights standards;
The above recommendations should be sent in appeals to the following addresses:
His Excellency Field Marshal Omar Hassan al-Bashir
President of the Republic of Sudan
President' s Palace
PO Box 281, Khartoum, Sudan
Fax: + 249 183 783223
His Excellency Ali Osman Mohamed Taha
PO Box 281, Khartoum, Sudan
Fax: + 249 183 771025
Mr. Mustafa Osman Ismail
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
PO Box 873, Khartoum, Sudan
Fax: + 249 183 779383
Dr. Abdelmuneim Osman Mohamed Taha
Advisory Council for Human Rights
PO Box 302
Fax: + 249 183 770883
His Excellency Mr. Mohamed Elhassan Ahmed Elhaj
Avenue Blanc 47
Tel: 022 731 26 63
Fax: 022 731 26 56
SOAT is an international human rights organisation established in the UK in 1993. If you have any questions about this or any other SOAT information, please contact us:
Kilburn Park Road
London NW6 5LF, UK
Tel: +44 (0)20 7625 8055
Fax: +44 (0)20 7372 2656