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African Centre: 2,500+ detained in Sudan oppression campaign a year ago

January 13 - 2020 NEW YORK
Activist Jaafar Khidir was detained in El Gedaref in eastern Sudan on January 8, 2019 (RD)
Activist Jaafar Khidir was detained in El Gedaref in eastern Sudan on January 8, 2019 (RD)

Between December 13, 2018, when the first protests erupted that would develop into Sudan’s uprising, and April 11, 2019, when President Omar Al Bashir was deposed, Sudan witnessed the widest detention campaign in 30 years.

Children, individuals of political affiliations, and university students especially those from Darfur region, were detained, the New York-based African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS) says in its report Sudan: Extrajudicial Killing and Incommunicado Detention released today.

The report aims to document human rights violations during the four-month period “to contribute to the efforts to ensure accountability, equity and the rule of law,” the ACJPS states.

“Detention also included the leaders of political opposition from the Umma National Party, the Sudanese Communist Party, the two wings of the Ba’ath Socialist Party, the Sudanese Conference Party, the Nasserite Unionist Party and some members of the Popular Congress Party, the People’s Liberation Movement-North Sector (Agar Leadership) and civil society and social media activists.

“Detention also systematically extended to trade union leaders like doctors, teachers and agriculturalists.  Since the leadership of protests was linked to the Sudanese Professionals Union, a large-scale detention campaign was launched against teachers, veterinarians, doctors and engineers in various sectors including specialists in communications, lawyers, pharmacists, journalists, human rights activists and others.

“The number of detainees who appeared before criminal courts or those who were accused of charges that were not proven before the court, was estimated at 2,500 persons during the period covered by the report. During this period detainees suffered from torture and ill-treatment in incommunicado detention for long periods before allowing their relatives to see them on short visits under close vigilance by the agents of the security service.

The report as well includes testimonies of former detainees, relating about abuse and torture by security officers.

The African Centre calls on Sudan’s Attorney General to “prepare the scene for a large-scale investigation of the breaches against peaceful protesters during the period covered by the report”.

The authorities should ensure that “judicial measures are taken to compensate victims for the physical and psychological damages incurred during the period covered by the report,” and the Ministry of Health must “incorporate the rehabilitation of morgues in its plans in conformity to the medical map of the country”.


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