Darfur lawyers provide legal aid to political detainees
The Darfur Bar Association (DBA) will intensify its support to victims of human rights violations in Sudan. On Saturday, families of detained politicians and activists demanded the Sudanese president to intervene to release their relatives.
In a statement on Sunday, the DBA announced that it will increase its efforts to provide legal aid to the many political detainees being held by the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) in Sudan.
A large number of activists and politicians who protested the new austerity measures in early January were detained by the security apparatus that month, many of them incommunicado. Journalists covering protests in Khartoum were also arrested, including correspondents of AFP and Reuters. Newspapers were gagged.
After President Omar Al Bashir ordered the release of all political detainees in the country on February 18, the NISS allowed about 50 of them, among them DBA Chairman Mohamed Abdallah El Doma, to leave Kober Prison in Khartoum North. The others are still being held.
The DBA said it will cooperate with lawyers of the National Forces, a loose alliance of opposition parties and civil society activists. It further pointed that it has received numerous reports about serious ill-treatment of the more than 100 detainees still being held by the NISS.
The Darfur lawyers repeated their stance on the statement of the re-appointed NISS director, Salah Abdallah (aka Salah Gosh), who reportedly conditioned the release of the remaining detainees political detainees with the improvement of the conduct of their parties, “which should abandon their demands to overthrow the regime by force”.
Detainees who were released a week ago said they still do not understand the reasons for their release and the continued detention of others.
On February 9, the DBA submitted a memorandum to the UN High Commission for Human Rights and four international rights organisations, demanding an investigation into the detention of a 16-year-old relative of an opposition leader in Khartoum North on January 31.
On Saturday, dozens of relatives of detained politicians and activists demanded the Sudanese Presidency to intervene to release them.
In a statement, the relatives called on the president to intervene as he is “directly responsible for the performance of the security apparatus and the protection of the Constitution and the rights of the Sudanese”.
The statement pointed to several petitions submitted to official state institutions, including the Sudanese Detention Centre, the National Human Rights Commission, and the National Council.
A group of lawyers have also presented a memorandum to Sudan’s Attorney General in which they challenged the legality of the detentions.
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