Home | Press Releases    Tuesday 3 February 2004

Prominent human rights defender and SOAT network member arrested

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Sudan Organisation Against Torture (SOAT)
Press Release: 03 February 2004

Salih Mahmoud Osman, human rights defender and member of SOAT’s lawyer’s
network, was arrested at his home in Wad-Madani, capital of the Central
Region in Sudan, at 11 pm on Sunday 1st February 2004, and the first day of
Eid Al Adha. He is currently being held at the National Security Agency
(NSA) offices in Wad Madani and he is reportedly being interrogated. SOAT
has fears for his safety.

It is not known why Mr. Salih has been detained, and he has not been charged
with any offence. He was suffering from Jaundice at a time of his arrest and
has not recovered. His wife has reportedly been refused to visit him but she
was allowed to bring him food as his ill health needs a special diet. SOAT
considers him a prisoner of conscience, held solely for his activities in
defence of human rights and that he belongs to the Fur tribe and is
therefore calling for his immediate and unconditional release.

Mr. Salih is a well known lawyer and a writer; over the past year he
provides free legal aid to hundreds of the victims of human rights abuses in
Darfur and he also provide free legal representation to those who face
capital punishment or severe punishments (amputation and cross amputation)
in Darfur region.

Mr. Salih has written articles and researches on the current conflict in
Darfur.

He also made a contribution at the Human Rights Education Conference, which
was organised recently in Khartoum, on "The image and perception of
Darfurian in the Sudanese Media and the School Curriculum"

SOAT believes that Mr. Salih was detained solely for the peaceful expression
of his opinions and expresses fears for his safety and is calling on the GoS
to give assurances that he will not be tortured or ill-treated.

SOAT condemns the arbitrary arrest of Salih Mahmoud Osman and calls on GoS
to put an end to the harassment and detention of its network members and all
the human rights activists in Sudan and urges the Government of Sudan to:

1.. Take all necessary measures to ensure the physical and psychological
integrity of Salih Mahmoud Osman.

2.. To allow him immediate and unrestricted access to his family and any
medical treatment that he needs

2.. Order the immediate release of Salih Mahmoud Osman in the absence of
valid legal charges, or if legitimate charges exist, bring them before an
impartial tribunal and guarantee procedural rights at all times.

3.. Ensure that Salih Mahmoud Osman has access to legal advice

4.. Guarantee the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms,
including freedom of association throughout Sudan in accordance with
national laws and international human rights standards.

The above recommendations should be sent in appeals to the following
addresses:

- His Excellency Lieutenant General Omar Hassan al-Bashir
- President of the Republic of Sudan
- President’ s Palace
- PO Box 281, Khartoum, Sudan
- Fax: + 24911 783223

- Mr Ali Mohamed Osman Yassin
- Minister of Justice and Attorney General
- Ministry of Justice
- Khartoum, Sudan
- Fax: + 24911 788941

- Mr Mustafa Osman Ismail
- Minister of Foreign Affairs
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- PO Box 873, Khartoum, Sudan
- Fax: + 24911 779383

- Mr Yasir Sid Ahmed
- Advisory Council for Human Rights
- PO Box 302
- Khartoum, Sudan
- Sudan
- Fax: + 24911 770883

- His Excellency Ambassador Mr. Ibrahim Mirghani Ibrahim,
- Permanent Mission of the Republic of Sudan to the United Nations in Geneva,
- PO Box 335,
- 1211 Geneva,
- Switzerland,
- Fax: +4122 731 26 56,
- E-mail: mission.sudan@ties.itu.int.

SOAT is international human rights organisation established in the UK in 1993. If you have any questions about this or any other SOAT information, please contact us:

- SOAT
- The Park Business Centre
- Kilburn Park Road
- London NW6 5LF
- Tel: 020 7625 8055
- Fax: 020 7372 2656
- E-mail: soatsudan@btclick.com
- Website: www.soatsudan.org

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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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