Update regarding Sudanese Congress Party detainees: Yesterday, on 29 June 2017, ACJPS published an urgent appeal regarding the incommunicado detention of seven members of the Sudanese Congress Party. All seven individuals were held all day on 25 June 2017 and released in the evening. Their arrest occurred on 25 June, and not 27 June, as was erroneously reported. None of the seven detainees listed are currently in National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) custody. The previous content has been removed from ACJPS’ website but is available upon request.
(30 June 2017) The African Centre of Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS) has serious concerns for the physical and psychological well-being of internally displaced person (IDP) Mr. Numairy Kika, who has been detained incommunicado without charge or access to his family or lawyers by the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) since 16 February 2017, when he was arrested from his home in Sirba neighbourhood, El Geneina, West Darfur. Mr. Numairy is an IDP in El Geneina, a teacher by profession, and headmaster of the Sirba Secondary high school. During the last four months since his arrest, Mr. Numairy has been held in three different locations, and is believed to currently be held at Port Sudan prison, where he was transferred to on 20 June 2017.
IDP leaders have been targetted in the past by Sudanese authorities for their presumed support of rebel groups operational in Darfur.
Following his arrest on 16 February, Mr. Numairy was held in NISS offices in El Geineina till 19 May 2017, when he was transferred to Al Huda prison in Omdurman. After a month in Al Huda prison, he was transferred by the NISS to Port Sudan prison, Red Sea state, on 20 June 2017.
Due to the nature of Mr. Numairy’s incommunicado detention, it is unclear what the basis of his detention by the NISS is, and why he has been transferred twice and is currently being held on the opposite side of the country.
The lack of access for lawyers and family members to persons detained, together with the well documented practice of torture and other forms of ill-treatment by the NISS, particularly whilst held in unknown locations, raises serious concerns for their safety and wellbeing. Under the 2010 National Security Act (NSA), detainees can be held for up to four and a half months without judicial review. The Act does not require specification of the grounds for arrest and detention and further does not provide for access to a lawyer during any point of the detention. The NISS routinely holds detainees incommunicado and without charge for prolonged periods, including in excess of the four and a half months permitted by the NSA 2010, and has subjected detainees to torture and other forms of ill-treatment. A web of immunities in place in Sudanese law protects NISS officers from prosecution.
ACJPS calls upon the Government of Sudan to immediately guarantee the safety of Mr. Numairy, and grant him immediate and unequivocal access to his lawyer and family members. Mr. Numairy should be released in the absence of valid legal charges consistent with international standards.
ACJPS has documented a number of cases recently in which individuals have been arrested by Sudanese authorities and government affiliated militias and then have been held in unknown locations without charge or access to their lawyers or families, both in conflict and non-conflict settings. Three activists from Eidel Firsan locality in South Darfur were detained incommunicado from 25 May to 25 June 2017 by the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) without charge or access to their families. The three activists had organised and led a peaceful demonstration on 24 May 2017 in Eidel Firsan centred around lack of public access to basic services, particularly access to clean drinking water and electricity. In an attack on Nertiti by the Rapid Support Forces and an unknown government sponsored militia on 14 June, seven men were abducted. The previous day, ten women were abducted from Tor, West Darfur. Their whereabouts remain unknown, raising serious concerns for their safety and well-being, as well as the risk for sexual violence.
ACJPS reported on 13 June 2017 the torture and ill-treatment of internally displaced person (IDP) Abdelmagid Abdalla Bakheet, (m), 27 years of age, who was reportedly subjected to torture by the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) in Kutum, North Darfur whilst detained from the evening of 7 June to the morning hours of 10 June. Mr. Bakheet was arrested and detained by the NISS after he collected food and clothing in Kasab IDP camp to be distributed to recent IDPs to Kutum, displaced by fighting in Ein Siro and Gara, North Darfur. Mr. Bakheet was refused medical treatment in a state run hospital as he was unable to provide form 8, a state document needed to obtain post-trauma medical assistance to record physical injuries related to criminal acts. Police had refused to provide form 8 to relatives of Mr. Bakheet, presumably under the presumption that a medical report attached to form 8 could potentially be used for a future criminal case levelled against the NISS. Mr. Bakheet was subsequently taken to a private clinic and treated for his injuries. Mr. Bakheet’s inability to obtain form 8 severely compromises the prospects of him launching any form of criminal complaint in the future to seek justice amidst an environment in which there are already no effective remedies for torture survivors.
Even in cases where the immunities mentioned above have been lifted, victims of torture have faced various barriers that make it extremely hard to report cases of torture. ACJPS is not aware of a single case where an alleged perpetrator of torture has been held to account. The ACHPR found in case 379/09 against Sudan that remedies are not available to people tortured by the NISS because the power to lift immunities is at the discretion of the director of the NISS and is not subject to judicial oversight.
Contact: Mossaad Mohamed Ali/ Emily Cody: +256 779584542/ +256 788695068 (Kampala), or firstname.lastname@example.org.