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African Commission requested to intervene in Abu Eisa, Madani trial

February 23 - 2015 KHARTOUM
Faroug Abu Eisa, February 2013 (The Niles)
Faroug Abu Eisa, February 2013 (The Niles)

Four international human rights organisations have jointly submitted a complaint about the case of Faroug Abu Eisa and Dr Amin Mekki Madani to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. The first trial session against the two opposition leaders is scheduled to take place today.

Abu Eisa, head of the National Consensus Forces, a coalition of opposition parties, and Dr Madani, chairman of the Civil Society Initiative have been accused by the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) of undermining the constitutional order and instigating war against the state, offences that carry the death penalty or life imprisonment. 

The charges are based on their signing of the Sudan Appeal, together with the Umma Party, and the rebel movements, allied in the Sudan Revolutionary Front in Addis Ababa on 3 December. In the political communiqué, the united opposition forces call for an end to the civil wars in the country, the dismantling of the one-party system, and the rebuilding of Sudan based on democratic principles and equal citizenship. The signatories agree that if a peaceful regime change cannot be achieved by a broad national dialogue, it should be enforced by a popular uprising.

Abu Eisa and Madani were detained by security officers in Khartoum on 6 December, a day after their return from the Ethiopian capital. They were held incommunicado until the 22nd of that month, after which they were transferred to Kober Prison in Khartoum North.

Fair trial guarantees

The International Federation of Human Rights, the World Organization Against Torture, Redress, and the African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies, on Friday submitted a complaint to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) that is charged with monitoring the implementation of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights to which Sudan is party.

The four human rights organisations requested the African body to take up the case during its meeting in Banjul, Gambia, which began on 19 February, as they fear that Abu Eisa and Madani will not meet fair trial guarantees.

They consider their detention and trial “a reprisal for their legitimate activities and exercise of their rights to free expression”, and claim that Sudan, “by their unwarranted clamp down on them, has violated many of their rights, including to freedom of expression, freedom of association, personal liberty and protection from arbitrary arrest and detention, a fair trial, health care, and to be free from torture and ill-treatment”.


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