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Darfur lawyers: TMC holding rebel fighters in jail is ‘continuation of policies of former regime’

May 30 - 2019 DARFUR / OMDURMAN
Captured SLM combatants in El Fasher on May 23 2017
Captured SLM combatants in El Fasher on May 23 2017

At least 235 prisoners of the Sudan Liberation Movement under the leadership of Minni Minawi (SLM-MM) and the SLM-Transitional Council headed by Nimir Abdelrahman are still being detained in El Huda prison in Omdurman. They were captured in Darfur in May 2017 in El Asheiraya, Jebel Adola, and Wadi Howar.

The Darfur Bar Association (DBA) has said in a report after meeting with a delegation of prisoners at El Hoda Prison in Omdurman on May 24, that according to statements of prisoners from the two SLM factions, there are no prisoners of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) who were captured in the area of Goz Dungu and other areas. There are with them seven people sentenced to death.

The DBA in its report condemned in the strongest terms and phrases the policy of the Transitional Military Council (TMC), “that consists of the Security Committee of Al Bashir’s regime” to keep wounded and detained rebel fighters in prisons”.

The DBA stressed that “the continuation of the policies of the former regime and the security committee set up by Al Bashir, in addition the keeping of prisoners of the former regime in jail, depicts the TMC’s stance to the popular uprising”.

The statement said that 50 rebel combatants were killed during the fighting between government forces, mainly consisting of militiamen of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and a joint rebel force in Jebel Adola and El Asheiraya in May 2017.

Of the 245 rebel fighters who were detained, six of them died at El Hoda Prison and the Karari Military Prison in Omdurman. Four minors were released. The remaining 235 prisoners were subjected to cruel treatment in Darfur and Kordofan, and then transferred to Karari Military Prison to undergo the same cruel treatment and torture. During the six-month prison period they were denied visits and were only given a piece of bread twice a day as meal.

According to the statement, the rebel leaders were transferred to El Hoda Prison on November 20, 2017. In December, they were transferred to the State Security Prosecution to be interrogated by Mutasim Abdallah of the State Security Prosecution. They were charged with undermining the constitution, staging war against the state, possession of weapons, and other crimes.

‘Denied medical care’

The statement said that no medical examination was carried out on any of the detainees. Zakariya Adam Nahar, Mohamed Suleiman Tareekh, Nasreldin Ishag Tareekh, Yagoub Hasan Tareekh and Abdelsalam Siddig, and Amer Adam died as a result of malnutrition, cruel treatment and poor environment in jail.

During the captivity, 35 prisoners were wounded, and the prisoners were transferred to the Omdurman Military Hospital where they were subjected to the installation of catheters, which have not been removed so far.

There are also those who have still fragments of ammunition in their body that have not been removed who are having problem walking, moving and other health problems.

As a result of poor nutrition and poor environment and the lack of medical examination, many prisoners are suffering from diseases. 12 prisoners were suffering from tuberculosis and were isolated medically.

‘Human rights violations’

The Darfur lawyers said in its statement that the prisoners have suffered a lot from human rights violations and have not been visited by any national or international bodies while there are direct stakeholders such as the International Red Cross and UN agencies related to the issues of prisoners and wounded in the wars.

The DBA called on the UN Secretary-General and UN agencies to address the situation of the prisoners and to take necessary and urgent measures towards the prisoners and to oblige the military junta to rectify their lost rights and immediate release and international investigation.

The Association further called on the African Union and the AU Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights to take the necessary measures, and urged the Security Committee headed by El Burhan and Hemeti to immediately release all the prisoners of the armed movements, including janjaweed leader Musa Hilal.

In its statement, the DBA holds the TMC responsible for procrastination and delay in releasing political detainees.

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