DBA demands better treatment of prisoners

The Darfur lawyers’ association called on the government to stop treating prisoners in a demeaning manner, and to transfer war prisoners to fair trials.

The Darfur lawyers' association called on the government to stop treating prisoners in a demeaning manner, and to transfer war prisoners to fair trials.

The lawyers of the Darfur Bar Association (DBA) have received numerous complaints of serious abuses against innocent civilians and unjust arrests, as well as victims being subjected to arbitrary and extrajudicial measures.

In a new press statement, the DBA called on the government to stop treating prisoners “in a manner demeaning of their human dignity” and to respect their rights under Islamic law, international covenants and conventions.

War prisoners and hostages should be taken to fair trials in accordance with the law in Sudan. Furthermore the DBA demands the immediate release of those arrested for being suspected of involvement in criminal cases, while evidence is absent.

Legal aid

The association urged the Sudanese government to disclose the identities of prisoners, their places of residence, and allow their families and lawyers to meet them.

“The Bar will provide legal aid to the prisoners, including those who are affected by human rights violations in Darfur.” In a final appeal the association called on all national lawyers and the Democratic Alliance for Lawyers to establish a national body, one that would provide legal aid to victims of human rights violations in Darfur.

In March this year, human rights activist in North Darfur, Hafez Idris – who has been detained by the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) since the beginning of December 2016 – told the lawyers' association how he was beaten, kicked, and tortured with electric cables during his detention.

The NISS increasingly uses the referral procedure to the State Security Prosecution to prolong the detention period of innocent suspects, the Bar reported on 17 April. “This is a flagrant violation of the law, and the constitutional and legal rights of those affected.”

War prisoners

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the international community should oblige the Government of Sudan to treat war prisoners in accordance with international law and regulations, and not impose severe punishments on them. Direij Adam, the spokesman for the Transitional Council led by Nimir Abdel Rahman, made this demand on Thursday in Sudanese media.

“The government should refrain from publicly displaying the prisoners to the curious masses of people, nor circulate [information about these prisoners] by its various media.”

Red Cross in Sudan has facilitated the exchange of prisoners of war between the Sudanese government and the armed movements before, and assisted in their reintegration into Sudanese society.