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Sudan: Detained human rights champion resumes hunger strike

February 5 - 2017 KHARTOUM
Dr Mudawi Ibrahim (File photo: Front Line Defenders)
Dr Mudawi Ibrahim (File photo: Front Line Defenders)

Human rights activist, Dr Mudawi Ibrahim, who has been in detention in Khartoum’s Kober prison since the beginning of December 2016, has resumed his hunger strike, demanding a response from the authorities to memoranda submitted for his release.

Dr Mudawi was detained in early December along with his driver Adam El Sheikh from the campus of Khartoum University, where Dr Ibrahim lectures in engineering. He initially embarked on a hunger strike on 22 January, demanding release or trial.

Dr Mudawi agreed to suspend his hunger strike when the authorities allowed members of his family to visit him this week.

Via lawyer Salwa Absam, Dr Mudawi’s family has already raised several memoranda for his release to the security apparatus, the Ministry of Justice, the Parliament, and the Commission on Human Rights, but they say there has been no response.

On Friday, they announced that Dr Mudawi has resumed his hunger strike until the Sudanese authorities release him or put him on trial.

Their statement holds the authorities responsible for his wellbeing. Reports have already emerged from Kober prison, by other detainees who were released, that Dr Mudawi has been subject to torture. He was also shackled hand and foot in an attempt to force him to break his hunger strike.

Dr Mudawi’s family renewed their appeal to political forces and civil society organisations to be in solidarity with him.


The memorandum submitted to the Parliament demanded summoning the security services director about the arrest of Dr Ibrahim and his colleagues, and keeping them in custody without trial.

The memorandum submitted to the Human Rights Commission demands that they be released immediately or charged and brought to without delay. It also called on the Human Rights Commission for the appointment of a special prosecutor to inspect the detainees’ prisons and ensure compliance with prison regulations and the rights of those arrested.

The memorandum considered Dr Mudawi and his colleagues’ prolonged detention as a violation of their fundamental rights, and a clear violation of the Interim Constitution and all international covenants and conventions ratified by Sudan.

Human rights defender

Dr Mudawi Ibrahim is a human rights defender and engineer known for his role in exposing human rights violations in Darfur. He is the founder and former director of the Sudan Social Development Organization (SUDO), which works on human rights as well as water, sanitation and health.

He has repeatedly been jailed for charges related to his human rights work. In recognition of his perseverance in promoting and defending human rights in Sudan, Dr Ibrahim received the inaugural Front Line Defenders Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk in 2005.

His arrest came at a time when at least 23 opposition leaders and supporters are in jail having been arrested in connection with a three-day stay-at-home strike called in protest against the rising cost of living and government spending cuts. The strike took place between 27 to 29 November 2016.

In December 2003 he was detained for eight months in connection with his work on Darfur. He was arrested again in January 2005 in similar circumstances and held for two months, before being re-arrested in May the same year and held for a further eight days.

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