Detained opposition leaders ‘maltreated’ in Sudan prison

Opposition party leaders in detention are subject to physical torture while some suffer from chronic diseases, a spokesman for the Sudanese Communist Party claimed following witness reports.

Mohamed El Khateeb (C) and Siddig Yousef (L) at a press conference of the Communist Party of Sudan in Khartoum (RD, file photo)

Opposition party leaders in detention are subject to physical torture while some suffer from chronic diseases, a spokesman for the Sudanese Communist Party claimed following witness reports.

Fathi Fadul, Communist Party spokesman, said that the party leaders suffer from “physical and psychological torture”, pointing to Communist Party leaders Mohamed Mukhtar El Khateeb, Siddig Yousef, and of the National Umma Party, Co-Vice-President Mohamed Abdallah El Doma and Secretary-General Sara Nugdallah. “Some of them have chronic diseases.”

According to Fadul, a report about their transfer to the notorious Shala Prison in El Fasher is incorrect. “But none of the detainees were allowed any visits or contact with their families.” He added that El Khateeb was forced to sit on an iron chair facing the wall for more than four hours a day, “to psychologically break his will”.

Sudanese lawyers have started filing cases against the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) regarding these arrests and the treatment of the detainees. “In addition, a group of doctors has started to petition for the NISS to allow them to examine the detainees in prison.”

Fadul explained to Radio Dabanga that the information they have gathered about the detention came from people who were released from detention and had seen or heard what happened to the political detainees.

Human rights violation’

Mohamed El Amin Abdelnabi, the secretary of information of the Umma Party, finds the arrests of party leaders, the authorities’ secrecy about the place of their detention and the denial of visits “constitute a blatant violation of human rights by the Sudanese security service”.

Abdelnabi told Radio Dabanga that “according to the information we received, the health of the detainees […] is bad”. “Sara has had a heart operation a few months ago and has not completely recovered yet, in addition to that she suffers from diabetes. Mohamed Abdallah is also sick – their imprisonment is a form of torture in this way.”

He described that the information that has circulated this week about their transfer to prisons outside the capital is contradictory. “There is no information revealed at all about the detainees’ location and conditions.”

Price hikes

Sharp price increases in Sudan are the result of the higher taxes on consumer goods, including flour and fuel, that the new annual budget includes. The increase of the US Dollar customs rate from SDG 6.7 to SDG 18 caused a rise in the Dollar exchange rate in the parallel market. The Dollar rate in the black market increased with six Sudanese Pound in less than two weeks.

In various Sudanese towns, people took to the streets in spontaneous or organised protests against the soaring prices. Journalists present at these demonstrations, including correspondents of Reuters and AFP, were detained.