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Darfur Bar renews call for release of ‘Nierteti detainees’

September 4 - 2016 KHARTOUM
Unamid head Martin Uhomoibhi (C) meets with US Special Envoy Donald Booth (L) during his visit to Darfur, 26 July 2016 (Mohamad Almahady/Unamid)
Unamid head Martin Uhomoibhi (C) meets with US Special Envoy Donald Booth (L) during his visit to Darfur, 26 July 2016 (Mohamad Almahady/Unamid)

The international community and in particular the USA should act and pressure the Sudanese government to release seven displaced men held in Central Darfur after meeting with US Special Envoy Donald Booth on 27 July, says the Darfur Bar Association (DBA).

In a statement on Friday, the Darfur Bar Association expressed its regrets that “more than three million people live in deplorable conditions and continuous suffering in Darfur for more than a decade”, while their cases “no longer find the international humanitarian concern, as in the past”.

The DRA points to the detention of 15 of a group of 20 displaced elders, women, and youths, in by agents of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) in Nierteti after they had met with the US envoy, on his request, during his visit to Darfur in end July.

A member of the committee informed Radio Dabanga at the time that they told Booth about the killings, rapes, detentions, and torture by the government and its militias, and the occupation of their land by new settlers.

The detentions prompted a chorus of condemnation, at home and abroad, with statements from the USA and the DBA. Foreign Affairs Minister Ibrahim Ghandour faced criticism after he denied the detention of anyone by the security apparatus in Nierteti.

Eight of the detainees were released in August. The seven others, Ahmed Suleiman, Adam Mohamed Ali, Ali Abdelaziz Adam, El Tijani Mohamed Seifeldin, Nasreldin Yousef Abdelrahman, Adam Hamid Adam, and Ahmed Abdallah Omar were transferred to Zalingei, capital of Central Darfur, on Thursday 25 August.

The Darfur lawyers state that they sent a memo to the National Commission for Human Rights, “to no avail”.

Other detentions

The Darfur Bar also condemns the conviction of the coordinator of the Kass camps for the displaced and basic school teacher Mohyildin El Tijani Mohamed Ibrahim by a military court in Nyala, capital of South Darfur, on Wednesday 24 August. He was sentenced to eight years in prison, on charges of supporting and joining “the enemy” [the rebel movement].

Ibrahim was tried “without taking into account the ABCs of the constitutional and legal principles that should be guaranteed to any accused. He was tried before a military judge, and not allowed to have a lawyer to plead for him,” the Darfur lawyers state. “This model is prevalent for multiple types and styles of the ongoing human rights violations in Sudan.”

The DBA urges the Sudanese government to “immediately order the release of the seven ‘Nierteti detainees, as well as the convicted Kass camps coordinator.

The Bar further calls for cessation of hostilities, especially the aerial bombardments on villages in and around Darfur’s Jebel Marra, and stresses the need for the “independent representation of Darfur displaced in the Addis Ababa negotiations, especially regarding the provision of humanitarian aid”.

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