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Sudan’s Emergency Lawyers condemn fabricated charges, detentions, and unfair legal procedures

August 9 - 2022 KHARTOUM / KASSALA
An Emergency Lawyers poster of the three detained activists who were brought to court despite the absence of any charges and without notifying their lawyers and relatives (Emergency Lawyers)
An Emergency Lawyers poster of the three detained activists who were brought to court despite the absence of any charges and without notifying their lawyers and relatives (Emergency Lawyers)

The Emergency Lawyers accused the authorities of fabricating charges against three activists who were detained without an arrest warrant and who were brought to court without notifying their lawyers and relatives. In Kassala, a lawyer was detained whilst performing his duties in court.

In a statement yesterday, the Emergency Lawyers accused the authorities of fabricating charges against activists Musab Ahmed (aka ‘Sanjo’), Sabir Ismail (aka ‘Maykal’), and Atef Osman Kamal who were detained from their homes in Khartoum on August 2 without an arrest warrant and taken to an unknown location by a group of men in civilian clothes.

At the time, the emergency lawyers expressed their concern over the disappearance of Musab Ahmed ‘Sanjo’, who was kidnapped by a group of men wearing civilian clothes after the morning prayers.

On August 4, the lawyers could report that the detainees were being held at the Khartoum North police Criminal Investigation Department.

Improper trial

This Sunday, the Criminal Investigation Department brought the three detainees to court in Khartoum North despite the absence of any charges against them and without notifying the detainees’ relatives and lawyers.

The lawyers accused the Criminal Investigation Department of fabricating charges, something that has happened before.

The Emergency Lawyers described this behaviour as “outrageous” and called the developments “a historical turning point in the work of the Public Prosecution, which is the sole institution entrusted with supervising the police guards, and investigating complaints filed at the police”.

'We will stand with them until they are free' - Emergency Lawyers

The statement said that “in light of the prosecution's failure to perform its role, turning a blind eye to this legal farce and not using its authority [to preserve the course of justice], the Emergency Lawyers will continue to follow up on the situation of the detainees and investigate the reasons for their transfer to court”. “We will stand with them until they are free”.

Detained lawyer

Lawyer Hozeifa Omar was held by security forces whilst performing his duties in a courtroom in Kassala on Sunday.

The Emergency Lawyers said in a statement later that day that this “represents a clear and explicit violation of the legal profession, as no lawyer is allowed to be detained whilst performing his duty without prior referral to the Lawyers Syndicate to raise his immunity first before being arrested based on clear charges”.

The statement referred to other recent assaults on lawyers and judges by the police and security forces and stressed that it is important to not allow these rights violations against lawyers to take place and to not keep silent about them.

The lawyers also said that they will follow all necessary procedures for the release of Omar.

Detention campaigns

Detention campaigns have been used by Sudan’s military authorities as a useful tool to suppress political dissent, especially since they took power in the October 25 military coup.

Last week, the Darfur Bar Association and partners reported the detention of at least 197 people by the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in West Darfur in a campaign that targets tribal leaders who refuse to partake in RSF-led reconciliation efforts and other activists, teachers, students, and farmers. Several people disappeared.

Previously, Sudan’s Emergency Lawyers reported that hundreds of people were detained during the June 30 Marches of Millions, including minors. At least 40 protesters went missing.

Journalists and prominent activists and political figures have also been targeted. On Thursday, Sudanese authorities detained a prominent member of the Political Committee of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party in Zalingei, Central Darfur, whilst prominent leaders of the opposition Community Party of Sudan (CPoS) were detained in May.

Furthermore, Emergency Lawyers finally located Hosam Mansour El Sayad, whose whereabouts were unknown since his detention in July. He is being held in the Criminal Investigation Department in Khartoum North (Bahri) and is in critical condition due to several bullet wounds.

Detentions are also connected to practices of the Al Bashir era reappearing in Sudan, with displaced leaders, Christians, and other minority groups being targeted.


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