Teenage detainees on hunger strike in Sudan
Two young men who were arrested on charges of killing a police brigadier in Khartoum in January, have been on hunger strike since Monday, demanding that the Public Prosecutor investigate the charges.
The defence team of Mohamed Adam ‘Tubak’ (17) and Mohamed El Fateh (18) said in a statement on Tuesday that the defendants went on hunger strike because they were subjected to inhuman treatment and excessive violence by the police and the prosecution’s “cover-up”.
The lawyers pointed out that they were forced to register judicial confessions under pressure, terrorism, and torture, forced to confess the crime at gunpoint, seized the crime instrument and represented it after two in the morning in the intense presence of the security forces, prevented them from meeting their families and lawyers, and concealed their location from family and lawyers.
The detainees legs are shackled with iron chains and imprisoned in very poor conditions. The legal team was prevented from knowing the whereabouts of the suspects, and the reason for the arrest of their clients.
The authority said that the Public Prosecutor refused to investigate and open a report on the constitutional and legal violence that took place against the suspects.
National and international voices have demanded the release of the teenagers, following reports of their torture in detention. In a statement published last week, Amnesty International wrote that “there are credible concerns the youths were abducted and held without charge, in violation of their due process rights, and subjected to torture while in detention”.
Mohamed Adam, nicknamed ‘Tubak’, and Mohamed El Fateh, nicknamed ‘El Nana’, have been held without charges since they were violently arrested on January 14 in Khartoum in connection with the stabbing Brig Ali Bereima during the January 13 Marches of the Millions.
For the first three weeks of their detention, they were held incommunicado without access to their families, lawyer, or a doctor. Throughout their detention, both activists were subjected to torture.
Tubak was arrested whilst he was in the hospital for treatment after he sustained two gunshot wounds in his leg during the march.
In January, lawyer Eman Hasan told Radio Dabanga that the two detainees were questioned about the sources of funding behind the protests and about members of resistance committees, but not about the police brigadier they were accused of stabbing.
The authorities hold them responsible for the killing of Brig Bereima during the protests. Various Sudanese, however, reported on social media that Brig Ali Bereima was killed a week before. Others tweeted that the police officer was killed in the early morning of January 13, while the demonstrations started much later that day.
Lawyer Hasan said in January that Adam was repeatedly beaten on his wounded leg whilst in detention and that El Fateh, originally from Wad Madani in El Gezira, was injured in the head and hand. She also reported that both had been subjected to severe beatings and electric shocks.
Tubak’s mother reported that she saw that two nails had been hammered into his legs, which had also been beaten whilst still injured from the gunshot wounds sustained at the protests. These injuries have left him unable to walk, Amnesty reported.
Tubak’s mother also said that her son had blood pressure issues but had not been allowed to see a doctor or take medications. Requests for the detainees to be examined by doctors were rejected, despite this being allowed according to Sudanese law.
As previously reported by Radio Dabanga, Tubak was subjected to continuous beatings, that the plaster was removed from his broken leg without medical supervision, and that he was deprived of water. His lawyers reported that he is constantly shackled.
Lawyer Hasan says that Tubak suffers from swelling in the nose due to being hit with rifle butts, swelling behind the ear, with the inability to stand on his feet. She also explained that El Nana suffered injuries to his back as a result of torture.
Tubak is now on hunger strike in protest of their arbitrary detention, Amnesty explained in its statement.
Another lawyer said that she had seen cigarette burns on El Fateh’s head and that he had not been allowed visitors: ”I believe they didn’t want us to see him because he was in bad shape”.
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