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'NISS prisons in Sudan overcrowded': released detainee

January 31 - 2017 KHARTOUM
Abdallah Abdelgayoum, who was detained for one month and spoke to Radio Dabanga about his experience in prisons of the security service, NISS.
Abdallah Abdelgayoum, who was detained for one month and spoke to Radio Dabanga about his experience in prisons of the security service, NISS.

A Sudanese activist who was recently released from detention said that the prisons of the security apparatus are overcrowded with detainees, who are ill-treated or tortured.

Trader and entrepreneur Abdallah Abdelgayoum saw the inside of several prisons in El Gedaref, Khartoum North, and Khartoum during his detention from 18 December until 22 January. He was also moved to Dabak prison and a hotel which he called the 'refrigerator'.

“The security apparatus prisons are overcrowded with lots of detainees whose families do not know their whereabouts and are not allowed to communicate with them,” he told Radio Dabanga in an exclusive interview. He met many people from Darfur: “They are treated the worst.”

Gayoum was arrested near Ibrahim Mousa mosque in El Gedaref while he was waiting for public transport at 9pm on 18 December. He said that the security service investigation was focused on his relationship with the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) and its cadres in El Gedaref. He was also suspected of being in contact with the movement's secretary-general Yasir Arman.

“I don't belong to any political party,” he stressed, but pointed out that he participated in the civil disobedience campaigns of last November and December.


Abdelgayoum met many detainees during the one-month detention. “There was a man, more than 80 years old, named Mohamed Younes, detained on charges of cooperating with the SPLM. […] Detained people from Darfur are subjected to treatments by security officers worse than others.

“There also was a prisoner from Ed Daein named Hajar Hassan Mustafa, who was tortured to the point that he was urinating blood. [...] Many foreigners in detention came from Ethiopia to seek asylum, but were arrested and sent to Khartoum, such as two members of the Oromo ethnic group: Mutawakil and Noureldin.” Abdelgayoum mentioned he met three other Ethiopians but did not learn their names.


The NISS officers released Abdelgayoum on Sunday 22 January, along with a group of about 30 people, without any charges being laid against him,. “We were released in batches, each in a group of five, and all of us have been in contact with our families. I was picked up by my brother that day.”

Sudanese Congress Party

In El Gezira state, Rugeiya Esam Omar, the sister of political detainee Abdelmonim Omar, has appealed to Sudanese government and the security apparatus to release the the head of the foreign office of the Sudanese Congress Party, as well as other detainees.

On Monday she told Radio Dabanga that the arrest of her brother Abdelmonim, who has spent nearly a month in Kober prison, “has caused harm to his family consisting of a mother and five children”.

She appealed to the NISS to allow his wife to visit him. The security service arrested a number of SCP members in the days surrounding the civil disobedience actions.

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