On Thursday, the State Security Prosecution in Khartoum filed criminal charges against two human rights defenders detained since December last year. Some of the charges are punishable by death.
Lawyer Nabil Adib, the head of the defence team, told Radio Dabanga from Khartoum that the prosecution charged Dr Mudawi Ibrahim and Hafiz Idris on the basis of six articles of the 1991 Criminal Code: Undermining the constitutional order (Art. 50), inciting war against the state (Art. 51), espionage (Art. 53), inciting hatred against denominations (Art. 64), being members of criminal and terrorist organisations (Art. 65), and dissemination of false news (Art. 66).
“There is no evidence proving that the defendants have been involved in any of the six mentioned articles,” the lawyer said.
“The prosecution filing charges means the end of the investigation stage,” he explained. “Accordingly, the defence will refer the case to the court to avoid more waste of time.”
At the end of March 2017, the court issued a decision to release both human rights activists on bail. Last week, the Attorney-General cancelled the decision for unknown reasons.
Dr Ibrahim, a university professor and founder of the Sudan Social Development Organisation (SUDO) was detained by agents of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) from his office at the University of Khartoum on 7 December last year. Idris, head of the Youth Association of the North Darfur camps for the displaced, was held during a visit to the home of Dr Ibrahim in Omdurman a few days before the detention of Dr Ibrahim.
After having been held incommunicado at a NISS detention site, they were transferred to Kober Prison in Khartoum North in January. Both men later told their lawyers that they had been mistreated and tortured.
In Kober Prison, Dr Ibrahim embarked on a hunger strike, which prompted the NISS to charge him with attempted suicide. The UN Independent Expert on the Situation of Human Rights in Sudan, Aristide Nononsi, who visited him at the prosecution office a month later, voiced his concern in a statement.
Dr Ibrahim was not interrogated throughout his detention until he was brought to the NISS prosecution in late February. State-controlled newspapers and websites however accused him of “collaborating with foreign entities”. A media outlet close to the ruling National Congress Party reportedly claimed that Dr Ibrahim is involved in an Amnesty International report released last year on the use of chemical weapons in Darfur’s Jebel Marra.