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Rights group call for end to crackdown on Darfuri in Sudan capital

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May 16, 2008 (CAIRO) — A Sudanese rights group issued a statement today urging a halt on arbitrary detention of Darfuri residents on Omdurman in the aftermath of a rebel attack.

The Sudan Human Rights Organization (SHRO) based in Cairo accused the Sudanese government of unjustifiably arresting a Darfuri human rights activist by the name of Abdul-Shakur Hashim Kaidanah.

According to the group security officers raided Kaidanah’s home and office last Thursday “despite denial of security and police departments”.

“The family, Darfuri lawyers in the National Capital, and the neighbors and clients of lawyer Kaidanah believe firmly that Abdul-Shakur has been detained in an unknown “ghost house” where arbitrarily arrested citizens have been notoriously subjected by security authorities to tortures” the statement read.

In a report published this week Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Sudanese security forces arrested more than 100 people since the rebel attack on Khartoum on May 10 that left dozens of civilians dead or severely injured.

Aegis Trust reported eyewitness accounts of a Zaghawa woman shot by security men because she protested against their attempt to arrest her brother who was walking down the street with her, in Omdurman suburb of Ombada.

Civil society Sudanese activists also issued a statement urging the government to stop the use of facial features to arrest people in the capital. They further said such practices violate the constitution and the human dignity.

Darfurian rebels staged a bold attack and fought fierce battles with the Sudanese army on the outskirts of the capital. However the Sudanese government repulsed the attack and accused Chad of backing the assault.

SHRO said it holds the Sudanese president Omar Hassan Al-Bashir, Intelligence Chief Salah Gosh and other senior officials “fully responsible for the safety and well-being of the Darfuri activist…. as well all other Darfuri detainees”.

The group called for applying “provisions of criminal procedure, including the right to bail, visitation, and legal consultation to all citizens charged with legal accusations”.

This week South Sudan president Salva Kiir distanced himself from the political arrests following the rebel assault saying that the “continuation of those practices... is an act of insubordination and insubordinate perpetrators of those unconstitutional practices are left with no other choice than to shape up or ship out"”

(ST)

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