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Darfur lawyers advocate for release of 37 detainees

September 14 - 2017 OMDURMAN
(file photo)
(file photo)

Thirty-seven people who were arrested in East Darfur have been held in El Huda Prison in Omdurman for more than a month for unknown reasons.

The people were arrested by Rapid Support Forces in Khazan Jadeed area in East Darfur on 6 August. The reasons for their detention remains unknown, said lawyers of the Darfur Bar Association (DBA) on Wednesday. “They are not being accused of committing any illegal acts.”

All detainees were transferred from Khazan Jadeed to the military headquarters in Shearia, and from there to the prison in Port Sudan. The prison administration refused to receive them as prisoners because they were not sentenced or face criminal complaints, the DBA said in its press statement. Finally they were moved to El Huda Prison.

“We demand the release of those detainees who had been detained for more than a month without being investigated or brought to trial in the jurisdiction.” A number of people is placed under arrest under emergency measures. 

After fierce fighting erupted between Rizeigat and Maaliya tribesmen in East Darfur in July, the authorities started an unprecedented detention campaign against their leaders. After having been convicted under the Emergency Law in East Darfur, they were sent to prisons in Khartoum and Port Sudan.

Weapons collection

The lawyers of the DBA also reviewed the current disarmament campaign in Darfur. They said in the statement that the regime in Khartoum “has involved Darfur in deadly tribal conflicts in which all kinds of deadly weapons have been used. Some tribes have obtained them by means of indiscriminate arming, amid the absence of the state in which people take right into their own hands.”

The DBA said that the deliberate disarmament have not found a response from the tribal militias. “Some have demonstrated their readiness to confront the regime.”

Also the Sudanese Congress Party said that the weapons collection campaign in Darfur and states of Kordofan one month ago, is “flawed and will be counterproductive, as it recycles weapons of the armed militias in Darfur”.

In a press statement on Tuesday, the party said it discussed the campaign taking place in Darfur and tensions over the campaign that may escalate into armed confrontations.

“The collection of weapons is a necessary task needed in Sudan,” the statement continued, “but must happen within the framework of a comprehensive and just peace agreement to end the war and rebuild the structure of the state.”

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