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Sudanese security arrest rights defender Adil Bakheit

FRONT-LINE DEFENDRS

Press Statement

Sudan Human rights defender Adil Bakheit arrested

Human rights defender Mr Adil Bakheit was arrested on 16 April 2015 by the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) in Khartoum.

Adil Bakheit is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Sudan Human Rights Monitor (SHRM), a member organisation of the Confederation of Sudanese Civil Society Organisations, working to monitor violations of human rights in Sudan. Bakheit also collaborates with civil society groups in Sudan as an independent trainer of journalists and human rights defenders.

Adil Bakheit’s arrest occurred at the Tracks Training Centre. He was subsequently held in custody at Al Awasat Police Station, where the human rights defender was charged by the State Security Prosecution Office based on seven articles of the Criminal Act 1991, including criminal conspiracy, calling for opposition to public authority through the use of violence, publication of false news, offences against the State undermining the constitutional system, waging war against the State, and impersonating a public servant. The charges against Adil Bakheit are reportedly based on a human rights workshop he conducted on 26 March 2015 at the Tracks Training Centre. Documents and laptops were confiscated on that day, including Adil Bakheit’s laptop, and three of the centre’s staff were interrogated following a raid on the premises. The charges against the human rights defender mean he faces possible sentences amounting to life imprisonment or the death penalty.

Human rights defender Mr Adil Bakheit was arrested on 16 April 2015 by the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) in Khartoum.

Adil Bakheit is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Sudan Human Rights Monitor (SHRM), a member organisation of the Confederation of Sudanese Civil Society Organisations*, working to monitor violations of human rights in Sudan. Bakheit also is active with civil society groups in Sudan as an independent trainer of journalists and human rights defenders.

Adil Bakheit’s arrest occurred at the Tracks Training Centre. He was subsequently held in custody at Al Awasat Police Station, where the human rights defender was charged by the State Security Prosecution Office based on seven articles of the Criminal Act 1991, including criminal conspiracy, calling for opposition to public authority through the use of violence, publication of false news, offences against the State undermining the constitutional system, waging war against the State, and impersonating a public servant. The charges against Adil Bakheit are reportedly based on a human rights workshop he conducted on 26 March 2015 at the Tracks Training Centre. Documents and laptops were confiscated on that day, including Adil Bakheit’s laptop, and three of the centre’s staff were interrogated following a raid on the premises. The charges against the human rights defender mean he faces possible sentences amounting to life imprisonment or the death penalty.

Sudan Human Rights Monitor and its members have previously been targeted by the NISS. On Sunday, 21 December 2014 at approximately 12 pm, a group from the NISS raided the premises of the organisation and forced the cancellation of a workshop focused on training for shadow reporting for the United Nations Universal Periodic Review which was being held there.

Front Line Defenders expresses its grave concern at the arrest of Adil Bakheit and the charges brought against him, which it believes to be solely motivated by his peaceful work in defence of human rights. It also expresses its concern at the increased use of arbitrary detention by the NISS as a tool for the repression of the work of human rights defenders in Sudan.

Front Line Defenders urges the authorities in the Republic of the Sudan to:

1. Immediately and unconditionally release Adil Bakheit, and drop all charges
against him, as Front Line Defenders believes that he is being held solely as a
result of his legitimate and peaceful work in the defence of human rights;

2. Take all necessary measures to guarantee the physical and psychological
integrity and security of Adil Bakheit;

3. Ensure Adil Bakheit’s immediate and unfettered access to his family and lawyer;

4. Guarantee in all circumstances that all human rights defenders in the
Republic of the Sudan are able to carry out their legitimate human rights
activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions.

Action Update Needed. Before taking further action on this case please contact info@frontlinedefenders.org for further information