The Darfur Bar Association organised a ceremony at their office in the El Amarat district in Khartoum on Tuesday to honour Radio Dabanga Editor-in-Chief Kamal El Sadig, former Chair of the Darfur Bar Association (DBA) Mohamed Abdallah El Doma, and Director of the NGO Justice Africa Sudan Hafiz Ismail for their efforts in serving human rights issues and campaigning for democratic transformation.
The ceremony was attended by several members of government: Sovereignty Council member and Deputy Chairman of the High Committee for Health Emergencies Siddig Tawir, Minister of Information, Culture, and Tourism Feisal Mohamed Saleh, and Minister of Justice Nasreldin Abdelbari.
The Canadian and Dutch Deputy Ambassadors, several representatives of regional and international organisations, and the leaders of several parties, unions, and civil society organisations were also present.
In his speech during the ceremony, Radio Dabanga’s own Kamal El Sadig praised the role of the Darfur Bar Association in addressing human rights issues, often at high risk. He also explained that he considered this honouring ceremony as a tribute to the Sudanese independent press, which played a remarkable role in revealing facts, especially during the Omar Al Bashir dictatorship.
El Sadig further praised the role of all collaborators with Radio Dabanga in Darfur, Khartoum, and the rest of Sudan in providing the news outlet with honest information despite harsh repression in the past.
The former head of the DBA, Mohamed El Doma, said that his organisation played a prominent role in assisting the trials at the International Criminal Court against affiliates of the former regime accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity, in the protection of civilians and students and their right to free speech, and in exposing unjust activities of the former regime.
In his speech during the ceremony, El Doma explained that he was arrested 15 times during the former dictatorship and that all the leaders in the organisation had been subjected to arrests and torture and paid high prices for their human rights activities.
"The road towards real justice is still long and efforts must continue to bring all criminals and perpetrators of violence to justice"
Hafiz Ismail, civil society activist, financial analyst, and director of Justice Africa Sudan organisation, said that the DBA is one of the pillars of his organisation's legal aid programmes and praised the role of the Darfur lawyers in the fight for justice. Ismail warned that the road towards real justice is still long and that efforts must continue to bring all criminals and perpetrators of violence to justice.
Siddig Tawir, Feisal Mohamed Saleh, and Nasreldin Abdelbari praised the revolutionary roles played by El Sadig, El Doma, and Ismail in highlighting defending human rights in Sudan.
Saleh praised the role of Radio Dabanga’s editor-in-chief in the media landscape and explained that Radio Dabanga was the only voice during the war that reported honestly on what was happening in Darfur.