‘Narrow prison cells for non-convicted in South Darfur’: human rights observer

Police in Buram locality in South Darfur hold dozens of detainees in a narrow cells, while the sanitary conditions are very bad, says a Sudanese human rights observer.

Police in Buram locality in South Darfur hold dozens of detainees in a narrow prison cells, while the humanitarian and sanitary conditions are very bad.

The prison cells do not exceed more than 9 by 9 metres, according to a Sudanese human rights activist, working for the the Sudan Human Rights Monitor (SHRM). The organisation reported that more than 200 people are detained in Buram's prison, without being convicted, for varying periods of time.

They are held in the police department of Buram locality and charged with several criminal offences, until they are brought to a court. However, the court of Buram locality was moved to Nyala, the capital of South Darfur, two months ago. The detainees still wait for their judicial process to start.

A relative of one of the detainees told Radio Dabanga that the number of detainees exceeds the prison cells' capacity. “This forced the prison administration to lock detainees in a gated square out in the open, under the burning sun,” he claimed.

“Their feet are bound and their hands are in chains, while the sanitary conditions are very bad.”

Hunger strike dispersed

The human rights observer further reported that detainees in Buram prison held a hunger strike last weekend, but were violently dispersed. The protest was aimed against the ill-treatment by the police personnel, the detention in narrow cells, and the fact that they are still waiting for their judicial process to start for more than two months now.

“The locality police beat the detainees during their strike, forcing them to break it up.” The observer demanded the Ministry of Interior to open an urgent investigation into these issues. He stressed that the policemen and guards who conduct these abuses should be held accountable.

UN human rights expert meets Justice Minister

In related events, the UN Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in the Sudan, Aristide Nononsi, met with the Sudanese justice minister on Thursday. Minister Mohamed Bushara Dosa severely criticised the international community for not providing technical assistance to his government to fulfil its human right obligations.

According to the official news agency Suna, the Minister of Justice acknowledged that Sudan is facing some challenges in the field of human rights. Dosa did urge the Nononsi to work to end the "unjust" economic sanctions imposed on Sudan by countries such as the United States.

It is the first time that Nononsi visits the country since his appointment to Independent Expert.