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HRW calls to end arbitrary detention in Sudan

Sudanese opposition groups protested against the detention of SCoP members outside the UN headquarters in Khartoum on 3 October 2017 (ST Photo)
December 19, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - Human Rights Watch (HRW) voiced concern about the arbitrary detention of Sudanese activists and called on the government to try or to release them pointing to reports of alleged torture.

In a statement released Tuesday, HRW said the Sudanese security service has detained on 6 December a "human rights activist Rudwan Dawod, a 35-year-old dual Sudanese-American citizen, who visited El Jereif suburb in Khartoum to " to show solidarity with local community protests against government land expropriations.

"He is being held in an unknown location, without access to a lawyer or his family" further reads the statement.

The National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) continue to arrest political and rights activists in Sudan despite the recommendations of the national dialogue conference in October 2016 and government’s commitment to release freedoms before the lift of U.S. sanctions.

“Sudan locks up activists for weeks on end, holds them incommunicado, and subjects them to abuse, including torture,” said Jehanne Henry, senior Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch.

“Authorities need to end these detentions and grant all detainees full access to family, lawyers, and medical care,” Henry further called.

The statement, also, reported the case of Nasreldin Mukhtar, a prominent Darfuri student activist arrested on August 22, and eight Darfuri students arrested in mid-September while protesting NISS detentions of two other students.

Rights activists and political opponents say the NISS continue to carry out arbitrary detention and arrests operations, putting aside pledges to allow them to work in a safe and enabling environment without fear.

“Torture and prolonged, arbitrary detention are still routine practice in Sudan, used as a means to stifle dissent and dialogue,” Henry said. “These tactics are further evidence of Sudan’s appalling rights record.”

(ST)