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Rights defenders call for international pressures over arbitrary detention in Sudan

A picture showing Sheikh Matar, an activist at his arrest by the security forces
April 21, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - Over fifty human rights defenders form Sudan, United Kingdom and the United States have called on the African Union and United Nations to put the needed pressure on Khartoum government to end arbitrary detention and improve the deteriorating human rights and humanitarian situation in Sudan.

In a letter addressed to the UN Secretary-General, African Union Commission, and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the signatories said the release of 50 political detainees on 10 April 2018 does not address the human rights crisis in the country, pointing that hundreds of detainees particularly from Darfur region are still jailed under harsh conditions.

"We wish to express our deep concern about the frequent arbitrary arrest and detention of individuals for political reasons in Sudan as well as the selective and discriminatory treatment of political detainees, particularly those coming from the conflict-affected areas," reads the letter.

"We are also deeply concerned about the extremely harsh conditions in Sudanese prisons, especially in detention facilities run by the security forces, where detainees are often subject to physical and mental torture and inhumane and degrading treatment, as well as being deprived of adequate food, medicines and other daily necessities," it further added.

The letter pointed to over 160 rebel fighters arrested after a coordinated attack in North and East Darfur states in May 2017, 61 local leaders from the Maaliya tribe imprisoned since nine months ago. The Janjaweed leader, Musa Hilal and about 300 of his supporters arrested in mid-November 2017 and hundreds of IDPs and political activists from the IDP communities.

The human rights and advocacy activists called to press the Sudanese government to "guarantee the safety, physical integrity and well-being of all persons" and "put an immediate end to the use of torture".

They additionally called to try without delay the detainees and allow their lawyers to challenges the legality of their arrests and conditions of detention.

Furthermore, they urged the need for a comprehensive reform to the security apparatus pointing that the government "should amend or repeal measures that allow security officials carte blanche to commit human rights violations" and to end the immunity provided to the army and security members if they committed human rights crimes and violations.

(ST)

Click here to read the full text of the letter