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Two students reportedly tortured in West Kordofan state

(6 December 2017) The African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies has serious concerns about the physical and psychological well-being of two students who were reportedly subjected to torture by the National Intelligence and Security Services in Babanoosa city, West Kordofan state, whilst in detention from 27-28 November 2017. Sudanese authorities should urgently investigate the alleged torture of the two students and ensure that those responsible are brought to justice.

On 27 November 2017, at around 12pm local time, two students from AlsalamUniversity in Babanoosa were arrested from a student hostel by the NISS of Babanoosa and detained at the NISS office in Central Babanoosa. The students were released the following day, 28 November 2017.

The students were accused of engaging in political activities on campus, in connection with delivering a speech at a student gathering at the University campus on 23 November that addressed the need to improve the academic environment in the university. The students are active members of the student movement.

According to a reliable source, the two students were subjected to torture and/or ill-treatment whilst in NISS custody. They were severely beaten; wounds on their bodies indicate that they were beaten with a solid object. The two students had their heads pushed into a barrel of cold for about 30 seconds. This was done repeatedly for around 20 minutes.

The names of the students are:

  1. Asim Yusif Baboo, (m) , 23 years old, student at the Faculty of Sharia and Law
  2. Baha Eldin Hamad Alreiah , (m) 25 years old, student at the Faculty of Education

The African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies calls for the Government of Sudan to conduct an independent and impartial investigation into the alleged torture of Mr. Asim Yusif Baboo and Mr. Baha Eldin Hamad Alreiah. Any investigation should be prompt and thorough, with its composition, the paremeters of the investigation, and the findings to be made public, and with a view to providing reparations to the two students.

The Government of Sudan should reform domestic legislation regarding torture in line with its international and regional commitments, such as the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. International bodies such as the African Commission, African Union and United Nations bodies should hold Sudan to account for its failure to implement its obligations to prohibit torture, grant effective remedies for victims, and hold perpetrators to account.

 

Background

Sudanese authorities have been consistently implicated in the use of torture as a means of intimidation and to extract confessions. Despite the prohibition of torture in Sudan’s 2005 Interim National Constitution, other legislation, such as the 2010 National Security Act and 1994 Evidence Act, creates conditions rendering detainees extremely vulnerable to torture and ill-treatment. The 2007 Armed Forces Act, 2008 Police Act, and 2010 National Security Act each grant immunities to state actors.

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. ACJPS has also documented cases where individuals are believed to have been tortured to death or tortured before being killed. In April and May 2014 ACJPS documented the deaths of at least four detainees in Military Intelligence custody in South Darfur and Blue Nile states. The whereabouts of their bodies are unknown.

On 13 June 2017, ACJPS documented the alleged torture and ill-treatment of internally displaced person (IDP) Abdelmagid Abdalla Bakheet 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.

Contact:

Mossaad Mohamed Ali, ACJPS Executive Director: +256 779584542; Cynthia Ibale, Program Officer: cynthia@acjps.org

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