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Detained Dr Mudawi subject to ‘smear campaign’ by Sudan’s state media

February 23 - 2017 KHARTOUM
Sudanese gather around a newspaper street vendor outside Khartoum. (File photo: Ashraf Shazly/AFP/Getty Images)
Sudanese gather around a newspaper street vendor outside Khartoum. (File photo: Ashraf Shazly/AFP/Getty Images)

Detained Sudanese human rights defender Dr Mudawi Ibrahim is being subjected to a smear campaign by newspapers controlled by the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), according to his lawyer.

Dr Mudawi, who was detained in Khartoum in early December was referred to the prosecution on Tuesday, although no charges have been brought against him. However, state-controlled newspapers and websites accuse Dr Mudawi of “collaborating with foreign entities”. His lawyer says it is an attempt to tarnish his image in public opinion.

Lawyer Nabil Adeeb told Radio Dabanga that as of Wednesday the prosecution has not provided any charge against Dr Mudawi whom he met for the first time yesterday at the headquarters of the prosecution in Khartoum.

He described the accusations published by the Sudanese Media Centre and some other sites against Dr Mudawi and his trial by the media as being contrary to the law, and that he in the process of filing legal action against those entities.

“It is not appropriate or allowed to publish news about a lawsuit during the course of the investigation because it is considered a crime under Article 26 of the Press and Publications Act,” he explained.

Innocent until proven guilty

He said in this regard this contradicts the basic legal principle which says the accused is innocent until proven guilty

Adeeb said yesterday’s meeting focused on reassuring his legal and health conditions which he described as good, in spite of repeated hunger strikes over the past weeks.

He said the UN Independent Expert on the Situation of Human Rights in Sudan, Aristide Nononsi, also visited Dr Mudawi at the office of the prosecution yesterday. Nononsi voiced his concern about Dr Mudawi and other detainees in a statement yesterday

Former judge and lawyer Ali Mahmoud Hassanein described the arrest of Dr Mudawi as a violation of the law and the text of the Constitution.

 He said Dr Mudawi has not been allowed any of the rights that should be provided to any detainee, even if the detention is right or proper.

Hassanein attributed the reasons for the delay of authorities’ trial of Dr Mudawi to the lack of any evidence or proof or charge in the hands of the regime.

Media campaign

He said “that's why the regime is afraid to go to the court that will be attended by the public who will realise that the detention was not backed by law nor based on facts”.

Regarding the serious charges published against the detainee in the media before the prosecution or the judicial proceedings, he described that as totally contrary to the law.

He said “the goal of the regime is to cover its crime of the arrest of Dr Mudawi without charges in violation of the law”.

Websites belonging to the NISS including the Sudanese Media Centre, Sudan Safari and some newspapers earlier published allegations quoting unnamed sources alleging Dr Mudawi’s involvement in “the dissemination and fabrication of news and videos about genocide, rape and use of chemical weapons in Darfur”.

Sudan Safari claimed that Dr Mudawi has submitted 191 fabricated reports to foreign organisations about genocide and rape at Tabit village in North Darfur.

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