02 Feb

African Center for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS) condemns the arbitrary arrest and torture of nine male Sudanese citizens by the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in Arzin, West Darfur. We call upon the warring parties to desist from arbitrarily arresting and torturing civilians. They must respect civilian’s human rights as guaranteed by the Constitutional Charter, and national and international human rights treaties ratified by Sudan. ACJPS further calls upon the Sudanese authorities to carry out independent and impartial investigations into the allegation of torture of the nine men to hold perpetrators to account and guarantee their access to free medical care.

On 11 January 2024, the ACJPS obtained a short video clip (23 seconds long) from a WhatsApp group of West Darfur residents. The muted video shows several male civilians lying on the ground with their hands tied behind their backs. Other men dressed in plain clothes and others in RSF uniforms are seen standing around the group. A few moments into the video, one person among a group is seen lying on the ground being beaten with a baton and kicked in the head by one of the men who were standing.

ACJPS went ahead and launched an investigation into the facts surrounding the incident and discovered that the incident happened in West Darfur State in the Azrni village located approximately 15 Kilometers East of Elgenina in December 2023 at around 11:00 Am. At least eight RSF officers armed with automatic guns known as Kalashnikovs and pistols under the command of a sergeant called Suleiman Barsham were involved. They were also joined by 12 men from the Arab militia who were dressed in plain clothes, eight of whom were armed with Kalashnikovs while the other four were armed with sticks and batons. The perpetrators subjected the group of nine adult men to physical torture as they were beaten with sticks and gun butts on different body parts whilst their hands were tied behind their backs as they lay on the ground on their bellies. The group spent at least 7 hours in that position and were later released after the intervention of the Native Administration of both Gimer and Messeria Jebal tribes.

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