Home | Press Releases    Friday 31 October 2003

The Sudan Government’s Continuous Violations of Judiciary Independence:

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Militarizing Peace Process and Civil Procedure, and Politicizing Court Decisions

SHRO-Cairo, Press Release

October 30, 2003 — The Sudan Human Rights Organization Cairo Branch notes the willingness of the Sudan Government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement and Army to speed up political agreement on military and security arrangements as a necessary step to help insure permanent cease-fire between the warring parties.

SHRO-Cairo takes this opportunity to reiterate the urgent need to carry out the other fundamental political and legal measures that the warring parties must take under both administrative and moral obligations to strengthen the peace process.

In furtherance of the peace process, the Sudan Government is obligated, in principle, to abrogate the Emergency Law, Public Order Act, the National Press and Publications Act and Council, and the other non-democratic acts or presidential decrees that continue to harass the Sudanese civil society and to hinder the creation and the promotion of the climate conducive to the peace making, peace keeping, and the transition to democratic rule,

The government’s hesitance, as well as the IGAD and the sponsor/mediator insistence not to invite the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), the Sudanese civil society groups (including trades unions and professional associations), and the other non-governmental human rights and democracy bodies to participate as full partners in the Sudan Peace Process has been gravely hurting the necessary national effort to make of the ongoing peace negotiations a real opportunity for the establishment of democratic rule, economic development, and constitutional reform.

Most regrettably, the Sudan Government’s most recent actions to increase military preparations and/or operations to deal with the DarFur and the Beja rebellions indicates the government’s non-serious commitment to the encouragement of the peace process in the country as a whole.

The most recent escalation of military action in the two northern regions of the country reveals further the Sudan Government determination to subdue people by State Violence, which has caused unprecedented casualties of war disaster and famine, besides the displacement and the impoverishment of millions of citizens, instead of pushing for consistent peaceful negotiation with the democratic opposition for a comprehensive solution of the Sudan’s Crisis.

Related to the government’s war-mongering attitude towards citizens despite a formal concern with peace in negotiations with the SPLM/SPLA, SHRO-Cairo asks the Sudan Government to apply international human rights’ norms to stop the execution of death penalty on the following citizens of DarFur who have been unlawfully tried, in actual fact, by executive decree:

- Mariam Azraq Haroun
- Hafiz Mohamed Dahab
- Ali ’Umar Daw al-Bait
- Adam Hussain ’Abd al-Rahim
- Eissa Dahab Abbakar
- Daoudain Adam ’Ubaid
- Zakariya Salih Ya’qoub
- Mukhtar ’Abd Allah Kabashi
- Abd al-Rahman Zakariyah Khareef
- Mohamed Haqqar Khareef
- Fadul Mukhtar ’Abd Allah
- Uthman Daodain Adam
- Adam Hussain Fadl
- Habib ’Abd al-Rahman Ya’qoub
- Ali Hussain ’Abd al-Rahman

These citizens had been earlier arrested in May, 2003, accused of launching armed attacks on the villages of Gikhma and Jebra that allegedly led to the killing of 8 citizens of the Fur group. They were recently convicted by Sections 167 and 168 (armed robbery) and Section 130 (murder) of the Sudan Penal Code, and then sentenced to death.

SHRO-Cairo believes that the court decisions were militarily instigated and politically biased at expense of the due process of law whereby the competent court had been originally created by executive order since May 2001 to decide upon cases of armed robbery, murder, and/or the acquisition, smuggling or sale of illegal arms.

The 3-judge bench that put to trial these citizens was actually a military tribunal composed of two military personnel accompanied with a civilian prosecutor who had been directly appointed by the Sudanese Armed Forces to sentence the accused summarily, i.e., without proper examination, cross-examination, or sufficient legal consultation (see the Organization’s numerous reports on the Sudan Government’s violations of the Independence of the Judiciary and the due process of law in the shro-cairo.org website).

The military tribunal that sentenced these citizens with death penalty did not offer them the right to appeal as proscribed by civil law. The only form of appeal accepted by the military tribunal was permitted without legal representation of the accused whose judicial right to appeal was severely reduced to an abrupt submission of appeal within only seven days of the date of death or amputation sentence.

The crisis of Sudan Judiciary has never ceased to occur since the NIF military rule cancelled the Sudan Judiciary Council, dismissed hundreds of judges for acts of opposition, and has regularly replaced the Sudanese well-established adjudication system with a highly politicized order of bureaucratic subordination to the State Executives led by the president, vice president, and the other senior military or party officials.

The politico-military arbitrary arrest, detention, torture, trial, sentence, and execution of tens of citizens in DarFur since May 2001 up to the above-mentioned cases exemplified the extra-judicial application of penal law by the Sudan Government’s violating executives. The Sudan Penal Code has been used as a political tool by senior military and civilian officials for political reason rather than the insurance of the due process of justice and the rule of law.

The continuous imposition of death sentences on the DarFur citizens who became involved in military operations vis-à-vis the Sudan Government provided a clear evidence against the politicization and the militarization of Sudan Judiciary in DarFur to eliminate the ongoing rebellion besides continuous harsh military action to terrorize civilians.

SHRO-Cairo condemns in the strongest terms possible the unlawful presidential decrees that authorize the president of state to renew Emergency Law, create military courts to deal with civilians, and undermine the independence of the Judiciary as a fundamental safeguard of the due process of justice and the rule of law.

. The Sudan Government must abrogate the Sudan Penal Code that constitutes a constant gross violation of international human rights norms through the execution of extra-judicial death sentences or physical amputations by presidential or executive decree.

The Sudan Government must abrogate all military tribunals that unlawfully subject civilians to summary trials, death sentences or amputations without appropriate court structure, legal consultation, or insurance of the right to appeal.

SHRO-Cairo calls on the Sudan Government, the DarFur, and the Beja Congress warring parties to enter into immediate cease-fire and peace negotiations that should further extend the spirit and the letter of the Machekos Peace Protocol to include the Sudanese democratic opposition, the NDA and the civil society groups, for a national constitutional settlement of the escalated Sudan’s Crisis.

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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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