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Sudan security service detains prominent demonstrators

April 5 - 2019 KHARTOUM
One of the numerous demonstrations against President Omar Al Bashir and his government (file photo)
One of the numerous demonstrations against President Omar Al Bashir and his government (file photo)

The Sudanese security service continues to detain people who organise or participate in the ongoing demonstrations. A Sudanese poet and three activists were arrested this week, and some are still detained at unknown locations.

Hundreds of people have been detained for participating in the demonstrations so far, and starting March, demonstrators can be brought to Emergency Courts for violating the Emergency Orders.

In the past weeks, legal figures and experts of law have described the actions conducted under the State of Emergency and trials in Emergency Courts as “unfair and lacking the guarantees of justice provided by the Sudanese Constitution”.

On Tuesday evening, agents of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) held Sudanese poet and political party member Hasan Bakri and took him to an unknown destination. A statement issued by the Baath Party informed the media that their member was detained by the NISS and taken to an unknown destination.

On Thursday morning, NISS officers arrested Ridwan Daoud, Abbas El Sadig and Tamam El Agib of the 'Sudan Future Campaign' group in Khartoum. Adil Abdelati, head of the group, said in a statement that they have lost contact with Ridwan Daoud, who is the deputy head.

El Sadig and El Agib were released on Tuesday evening. Abdelati condemned the arrests and kidnapping by the NISS which does not notify the detainees' relatives of their detention, which is required by law.

Hunger strike

This week activist Nazem Siraj, who has been detained since February 1 and started a hunger strike in protest against his detention, was transferred from the NISS political detention centre near Shendi bus station in Khartoum North to Kober prison.

The next step for Siraj was his prosecution on charges of trying to end his life after he entered a two-week hunger strike. Siraj' family pointed out in a statement that he was returned to the NISS political detention centre after the investigation ended, without any charges.

Before his arrest, Siraj oversaw the operations of ambulances, treatment of the injured and the victims of demonstrations, and provided information to the media about the number of dead, wounded, and injured in coordination with hospitals and doctors.

“The security authorities did not allow his family to visit him,” the statement reads. They have submitted a memorandum to the NISS legal affairs office, demanding his release or or a fair trial.

Actions against Emergency Orders

Defence lawyers have criticised the Emergency Courts that have been established under the State of Emergency because they are set-up to violate the constitutional rights of people to participate in demonstrations. Party leaders and human rights activists have therefore appealed against the constitutionality of the Emergency and Public Safety Act of 1997, and the presidential Emergency Orders that have been established in accordance with the ongoing demonstrations in the country.

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