Sudanese human rights champion detained
Well-known Sudanese human rights defender, Dr Mudawi Ibrahim, was detained by agents of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) for unknown reasons and taken to an unknown location yesterday. Human rights organisations have released urgent appeals for his release.
A relative of Dr Ibrahim confirmed to Radio Dabanga that Dr Ibrahim and his driver, Adam El Sheikh, were arrested from the campus of Khartoum University, where Dr Ibrahim lectures in engineering. They were forcibly transferred to an unknown location. The family only became aware of Dr Ibrahim's arrest when NISS agents arrived to search the house.
The relative said that they are very anxious for his wellbeing, as they have no information of his whereabbouts and have had no contact with him at all.
This is also confirmed by Front Line Defenders, Their statement says that Dr Ibrahim's arrest follows weeks of intimidation by state security forces. On the 24th of November, the NISS arrested a guest staying with Dr Ibrahim’s family. He remains in detention.
A statement issued by human rights organisation Amnesty International today states that Dr Ibrahim’s arrest “is further proof of the [Sudanese] government’s intolerance of independent voices”.
“Mudawi’s arbitrary arrest underscores the government’s desperate attempts to extinguish the last embers of dissent in the country. This wanton repression and disregard for human rights must come to an end,” said Michelle Kagari, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.
“The authorities must immediately and unconditionally release him and all other detainees who have been arbitrarily arrested, and take measures to rein in the excessive powers of the National Intelligence Security Service.”
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 comes 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.
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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