Activist Tupac ‘tortured again’ in Sudan police custody

Mohamed Adam (Tupac) JUST before he was held by policemen in Burri, Khartoum, January 14, 2022 (File photo: social media)

Mohamed Adam aka Tupac, an activist charged with killing a police officer last year, is currently being held in Ed Damer, capital of in River Nile state in northern Sudan. Yesterday, he was transported from Atbara to the prison of El Damer, reportedly “shackled and bleeding”.

The defence team of Adam, who was 17 years old when he was detained on accusations of killing a police brigadier in Khartoum in January last year, said yesterday that the Criminal Investigation Police (CIP) in Atbara transported him to the El Damer Prison “shackled and bleeding”.

Lawyer Eman Hasan, head of the defence team, told Radio Dabanga that the Atbara CIP detained Adam on August 13. He was held incommunicado and severely beaten until he was taken to the Ed Damer Prison yesterday.

The Atbara public prosecutor denied knowledge of his detention and refused to ask the police. “Only after we confirmed he was held by the CIP, he requested the necessary documents from the police department – whereupon the CIP procrastinated its response to the prosecution’s request to submit the papers,” the lawyer said.

Tupac is not a fugitive defendant, she said. “After his release from prison, he said he would report to the police after the end of the war. The defence team then notified the competent court and judge in Khartoum North, who in turn officially notified Adam to surrender himself when the situation has calmed down.”

The lawyer wondered “why the prosecution did not do its duty to daily inspect the guards of Tupac, and how he could be transferred to a prison without papers or the approval of the prosecution and a judge. These are violations of the Sudanese Criminal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedures as well as the UN Charter of Human Rights, and other international conventions”.

She further expressed her fear for the life of the young man, and holds the authorities responsible for his health, and appealed to human rights organisations “to stand with Tupac and intervene to protect him”. 

Adam was detained, together with Mohamed El Fateh (18), in front of a hospital in Burri, Khartoum, on January 14, where he had been treated for a bullet wound in his leg sustained during anti-junta street protests the day before. It soon turned out that he was the main suspect of the killing of a police brigadier a few days earlier.

The two detainees were questioned about the sources that were funding the protests and about names of activists, but not about the police brigadier they were accused of stabbing to death.

According to Adam’s lawyers and international human rights groups he was allegedly tortured during interrogations about the protest movement for three weeks, before eventually giving a false confession. He was suspended from his feet, subjected to continuous beatings, and deprived of water.

The trial officially started in May but was postponed in June, when the protesters’ poor treatment inside Kober Prison sparked controversy, not only because of the alleged torture the young men were subjected to but also because of inconsistencies in the police statements.

In December, Adam was brought in at a court session with a bleeding lip and other signs of beating. The judge then adjourned the session and instructed Tupac to be moved to another prison.

On April 22, ten days after the start of the war between the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces militia, Tupac was among the thousands of inmates freed in attacks on several prisons in the capital. Tupac said in a video clip that he would not take advantage of the incident to escape and would return to detention until he and his comrades’ innocence would be confirmed.

Mohamed Adam ‘Tupac’ and Ahmed El Fateh ‘El Nana’ were detained in Wad Madani, capital of El Gezira, in mid-May, along hundreds of other young activists. According to their lawyers, the two young men volunteered to aid the many displaced people sheltering in schools in the city, when a principal reported their presence to the Central Reserve Police.