Home | News    Wednesday 25 May 2016

Sudanese security arrests 8 activists: NGO

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May 24, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - The Al-Khatim Adlan Centre for Enlightenment and Human Development (KACE) said Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) last Sunday has arrested several civil society and human rights activists.

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Arwa Elrabie, executive director of Al-Zarqa Rural Development Organization (KACE Photo)

Since three years ago, NISS has intensified its crackdown on the cultural and human rights centres and ordered closure of most of them accusing the organisations of receiving foreign funding and being linked to opposition and working to topple the regime.

In a statement released Tuesday, KACE said that 8 activists have been summoned to the Office of the Prosecutor for Crimes against the State last Sunday for charges filed against them by the NISS, noting they were arrested at the state security prosecution awaiting investigation.

Reliable sources told Sudan Tribune that the activists have been transferred to the Khartoum North Central Court following the investigation and they expected to appear before the court on June 8th.

According to the statement, the list of the detainees include the director of the Centre for Training and Human Development (Tracks) Khalaf Allah al-Afif, administrative director of Tracks, Arwa Elrabie, executive director of Al-Zarqa Rural Development Organization, Mustafa Adam besides Al-Khazini Ahmed al-Hadi, Midhat Afif al-Din Hamdan, Hassan Khairi, Al-Shazali Ibrahim El-Shiekh and Imani Liela.

The statement added that NISS raided Tracks’ premises in Khartoum on 29 February and seized the employee laptops and personal belongings including their mobile phones, saying it continued to summon the center’s officials before transferring the case to the prosecution office.

It added that NISS had previously raided the center in March 2015 and filed charges against its officials however the court dismissed the case for lack of evidence and ordered return of the properties.

The statement pointed out that the detainees are experiencing harsh conditions and some of them suffer from a number of diseases, saying their visit is only allowed upon permission from the prosecutor.

KACE expressed concern over the deteriorating human rights situation in Sudan and in particular the conditions of rights defenders and civil society activists, pointing to the large restrictions on activities of NGO’s working to promote human rights in the country.

It demanded the authorities to stop the arbitrary measures against the activists and to lift restrictions on the civil society to allow it carry out its role in strengthening human rights and human development.

The statement further urged the government to abide by its international obligations with regard to human rights and freedoms of expression, association and communication set forth in international covenants and conventions.

In December 2012, Sudanese authorities closed three civil society groups: Sudanese Studies Centre (SSC), KACE, the Organisation for Human Rights and Development (ARRY). The Cultural Forum for Literary Criticism, a literary forum, was also closed.

In March 2014, NISS banned for the first time a celebration of Women’s Day organised by the Salmmah Women’s Resource Centre and other groups.

Also, in January 2015 NISS raided the Mahmoud Mohamed Taha Cultural Centre in Khartoum’s twin city of Omdurman and ordered its closure.

(ST)

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