Home | Press Releases    Wednesday 22 December 2004

Fear of torture/ill-treatment / Incommunicado detention

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AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
PRESS RELEASE

- AFR 54/167/2004 (Public)
- News Service No: UA 341/04
- 22 December 2004

Nineteen men from Marla village in Darfur, western Sudan, are at risk of torture after being detained by Sudanese security forces.

The men were all arrested or abducted between 10 and 12 December. One of them, Ahmed Ishaq Omar, a teacher, is known to be held in the central police station in the town of Nyala, the capital of South Darfur state, some 25 km to the north of Marla village. He was reportedly arrested by the Sudanese army near Marla on 10 December, and currently has no access to the outside world. Seven other men, Ali Juma Amer, a doctor, Salem Ahmed Nil, a farmer, Adam Dud Ismail, a trader, Hassan "Daguiga" [nickname], Ibrahim Hussein Musa, Mahmud Jar al-Nabi and Abdul Hamid Nil Salem are feared to have been arrested at the same time.

Eleven other men originally from Marla but living in the Kango and Al-Jeer districts of Nyala, were reportedly arrested from their homes by the security forces around 12 December. They are: Musa Wadi Hassan, Musa Hassan Abdallah, Musa Mukhtar Issa, Saleh Khidir Abdallah, Ahmed Ibrahim Rahma, Baggari Idris Hamed, Tinan Adam Juma, Mahjub Ahmed Eddah, Tahar Adam Khair Allah, Abdallah Idris Areifa and Mohamedain Ibrahim Wadi.

It is believed that the 19 men have been detained on suspicion of supporting the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA), an armed opposition group which is at war with the Sudanese government in Darfur, western Sudan.

Under the Sudanese state of emergency and the National Security Forces Act, the men can be detained for long periods without charge or trial. In Darfur, detainees suspected of supporting armed opposition groups are often tortured.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Darfur has been the scene of internal armed conflict since February 2003, when the SLA and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) took up arms against the government because of what they perceived as the lack of government protection for their people and the marginalisation and underdevelopment of the region. After that, the government gave free rein to the Janjawid nomadic militias to kill and abduct civilians, mainly from the agricultural ethnic groups, and destroy their property. More than 1.5 million people have been forcibly displaced from rural areas to settlements around the towns and villages of Darfur.

South Darfur state has been the scene of increasing attacks on civilians in November and December 2004. Marla was bombed by the Sudanese Air Force on 8/9 December, in what appeared to be an indiscriminate bombing of civilians and a breach of a 9 November agreement which prohibits any "hostile military flights in or over Darfur".

RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in Arabic or English or your own language:
- expressing concern for the safety of 19 men from Marla village in South Darfur state arrested between 10-12 December, and calling for their whereabouts to be immediately revealed;
- if you can, list the names of all the men: Ahmed Ishaq Omar, Ali Juma Amer, Salem Ahmed Nil, Adam Dud Ismail, Hassan "Daguiga", Ibrahim Hussein Musa, Mahmud Jar al-Nabi, Abdul Hamid Nil Salem, Musa Wadi Hassan, Musa Hassan Abdallah, Musa Mukhtar Issa, Saleh Khidir Abdallah, Ahmed Ibrahim Rahma, Baggari Idris Hamed, Tinan Adam Juma, Mahjub Ahmed Eddah, Tahar Adam Khair Allah, Abdallah Idris Areifa and Mohamedain Ibrahim Wadi;
- asking for assurances that the men will not be tortured or otherwise ill-treated;
- urging that they are given access to relatives, lawyers and any medical aid they may need;
- calling on the authorities to give them access to international monitors, including the African Union force in Darfur, the International Committee of the Red Cross and UN human rights monitors;
- urging that they be released immediately, or else charged with a recognizably criminal offence and given a fair trial without the possibility of the death penalty.

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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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