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‘Detained Sudanese activist at risk of torture must be released’: Amnesty

June 1 - 2018 KHARTOUM
Hisham Ali (file photo)
Hisham Ali (file photo)

Human rights activist and prisoner of conscience Hisham Ali must be released from detention in Khartoum immediately and unconditionally, Amnesty International said today.

Hisham Ali was deported from Saudi Arabia this week, arrested upon arrival in Sudan and detained at the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) headquarters.

“Having been a courageous political and online activist against torture and corruption Hisham Ali is at great risk of torture and other ill-treatment while in the hands of the NISS. Pending his release, he must be granted unfettered access to a lawyer of his choice and to his family,” said Joan Nyanyuki, Amnesty International Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

On November 18, 2017 the Saudi Interior Ministry arrested activist Ali – known as “Wad Galiba” – at the request of the Sudanese intelligence and held him in Dhahban prison. From there he was moved to El Shumaisi detention centre, an immigration centre outside Jeddah.

Amnesty International raised alarm on his impending deportation, and then asked the government of Saudi Arabia not to return him to Sudan, where he would be at risk of arrest, torture and other ill-treatment because of his human rights work. He was deported to Sudan on 29 May 2018.

“For at least the second time in two years, Saudi Arabia has violated with impunity the principle of non-refoulement, which prohibits nations from returning individuals to countries where they would face risk of human rights violations or abuses,” said Nyanyuki.

Activistic work

Ali has worked as a freelance accountant in Saudi Arabia, where he resided since 2010 after immigrating for work purposes. He also wrote articles for various online forums. A political activist of many years, he took to online platforms in 2013 to expose government corruption.

He also published on torture in detention by the Sudanese authorities and expressed his support for acts of civil disobedience carried out during November and December 2016 in Sudan on his Facebook page.

Amnesty International recently also spoke out against the conviction of Noura Hussein, a young woman senteced to death by hanging for killing her husband after he allegedly raped her.

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