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Authorities release 31 illegally detained Darfuris on bail

November 21 - 2022 EL FASHER / OMDURMAN
Detention cell in Sudan (File photo)
Detention cell in Sudan (File photo)

A number of people who have been in detention since August, allegedly for political reasons, have been released according to the Darfur Bar Association in cooperation with the Defence Team for Detainees in West and North Darfur. 

The statement yesterday reported that eleven detainees were released on bail in El Fasher, capital of North Darfur. 

An additional 20 North Darfuri detainees were released from El Huda Prison in Omdurman on Thursday, provided that they would be handed over to the police in El Fasher due to criminal allegations lodged against them. The remaining 35 detainees of this group will be released soon, said the statement. 

The statement described the criminal cases lodged against the detainees in El Fasher as ”fabricated”. The detention of these people is “political and administrative corruption,” the two human rights groups said. “They are tampering with the law, authority, and human rights in North Darfur.” 

The lawyers pointed out “the right of the detainees to sue Nimir Abdelrahman, Governor of North Darfur, and Gen Abdelrahim Dagalo, Deputy Commander of the Rapid Support Forces, and everyone who is proven to be linked to these gross violations and abuses of the law”.

They further accused the authorities of West and North Darfur of hiding detainees in the infamous Shala prison and police stations in El Fasher during the visit of Volker Türk, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, as they feared he would visit the prison and speak with the detainees. 

The lawyers had earlier received false information about the release of all political detainees. After the return of the High Commissioner to Geneva, it became clear that the detainees had been removed from Shala Prison and distributed to several police stations in El Fasher, under the pretext of criminal allegations filed against them. 

In an interview with Radio Dabanga last week, El Sadig Ali Hasan, acting Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Darfur Bar Association, said that the High Commissioner for Human Rights visited to make “a hidden settlement”. 

He explained that the Commissioner's concerns were limited to the general political situation and that he failed to address to the human rights violations and detentions that required attention. 

He criticised Türk’s failure to visit over 300 detainees from North and West Darfur being detained in various prisons in the country.  

At the beginning of November, Radio Dabanga reported that the majority of these detainees are displaced people residing in the camps for the displaced in Darfur. All were detained without any legal justification, according to DBA lawyer Igbal Ahmed Ali. 

He said that the commissioner's visit to the former head of the Empowerment Removal Committee* (ERC) and member of the FFC Executive Office, Wajdi Saleh, was a political move, indicating that his detention is directly related to the ongoing negotiations. Saleh has been in detention since he handed himself over to authorities on September 30. 

On September 16, the African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS) expressed its deep concerns over the continued violations of human rights by law enforcers in Sudan, especially in West Darfur. 

* The full name of the committee is the Committee for Dismantling the June 30 1989 Regime, Removal of Empowerment and Corruption and Recovery of Public Funds. It was established by the government of Abdallah Hamdok in November 2019 with the aim to purge Sudan of the remnants of the ousted regime of dictator Omar Al Bashir (1989-2019). Empowerment (tamkin) is the term with which the Al Bashir government supported its affiliates by granting them far-going privileges, including government functions, the setting-up of various companies, and tax exemptions. 

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