REDRESS condemns arbitrary incommunicado detention of Darfur human rights lawyers

REDRESS is gravely concerned to learn that Mossaad Mohamed Ali, lawyer and Coordinator of Amel Centre in Nyala, Sudan, and Adam Mohammed Sharief, member of Amel Network of Lawyers in Nyala are being arbitrarily detained incommunicado by the National Security Bureau (NSB) in Nyala and may be subjected to torture or ill-treatment.

Following a first arrest and detention on 15 May 2006, Mr. Ali and Adam Mohammed Sharief, member of Amel Network of Lawyers in Nyala were summonded to the offices of the NSB in the early hours of 16 May 2006.

Subsequently, Mr. Ali was arrested, detained and denied access to his family and to a lawyer, ostensibly because of his work as human rights defenders. The UN Mission in Sudan has also been denied access. Mr. Sharief has been requested to report daily to the NSB and to stay at Reception from 7am to 11pm.

REDRESS commends the vital role of the Amel Centre in providing treatment, rehabilitation and assistance to victims of serious human rights violations in Darfur. From our longstanding and close working relationship with the Amel Centre to further victims’ right to justice and reparation in Sudan, REDRESS is keenly aware and deeply worried about the various forms of harassment and intimidation that human rights defenders face in their daily work.

The arrest and incommunicado detention of Mr. Ali and Mr. Sharief constitute a serious and unacceptable attack on lawyers working to promote and ensure human rights on behalf and for the benefit of victims in Darfur.

REDRESS calls upon the Government of Sudan to ensure that Mr. Ali can exercise their rights to have access to a lawyer of their choice, to family members and to medical treatment without further delay, and to release them immediately if no legitimate charges exist.

To this end, REDRESS subscribes to the appeal by the Sudan Organisation against Torture (SOAT) to the Government of Sudan to “immediately cease its campaign of intimidation and harassment of human rights defenders and to respect international human rights and humanitarian law and to end impunity for crimes committed by the government security forces.”