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Sudan

    March 12, 2013

    A threat by Sudan's Deputy Chief Justice to train judges to carry out amputations if doctors refuse has prompted Amnesty International to call for an immediate halt to any further such punishments, which are in serious breach of international law.

    Deputy Chief Justice Abdul Rahman Sharfi has also threatened to prosecute doctors who refuse to carry out amputation sentences.

    On 14 February 2013 doctors removed the hand and leg of a man who had been convicted for robbery, in what represented the first case that human rights organisations were able to document since 2002. But Sharfi indicated that 16 amputation sentences had actually been carried out in Sudan since 2001, in a statement suggesting that the punishment might be more pervasive than was previously believed.

    “This cruel and inhuman treatment, which is banned under international law, needs to be abolished immediately,” said Netsanet Belay, Amnesty International’s Africa Program Director. “The Government of Sudan needs to amend its national legislation to stop this torture and bring its Penal Code into line with international standards."

     

    January 30, 2013

    Reports that members of Sudan's security forces were involved in January attacks that left up to 200 people dead near a goldmine in Darfur must urgently be investigated, Amnesty International said today.

    Fighting broke out on 5 January between members of Beni Hussein, an Arab tribe that lives locally and the pastoralist Rizeigat community, when a Rizeigat leader, who is also an officer in Sudan’s Border Guard, reportedly laid claim to a gold-rich area in Beni Hussein territory.

    Gunmen driving government vehicles are alleged to have opened fire on people in the the mostly Beni Hussein area of Kebkabiya using grenades and heavy machine guns. While many among the local population own automatic rifles, heavier weaponry of the sort used in these attacks is not normally available to civilians.

    "The Sudanese government should immediately investigate the reports that its security officers are involved in attacks against civilians and ensure they are not involved in any further attacks," said Audrey Gaughran, Amnesty International's Africa director.

    January 20, 2013

    Sudanese teacher and activist Jalila Khamis Koko, who was arrested by the National Security Service in March 2012, was released from detention after a court hearing today.

    Jalila was acquitted of all charges except those related to “spreading false news”, a vague provision of the criminal code often used by the government to silence dissent. It is punishable by six months in prison, but the court released her since she had already spent nine months in pre-trial detention.

    “Jalila’s release is victory for justice but the nine months that she has spent in detention simply for expressing her opinions cannot be ignored,” said Audrey Gaughran, Amnesty International’s Africa program director.

    “The Sudanese government must ensure that Jalila is compensated for being deprived of her freedom and separated from her family for so long. While she was held Jalila’s health deteriorated significantly.

    "The government must also ensure that she is able to return to her teaching job from which she was unfairly dismissed during the course of her detention.”

     

    January 17, 2013

    The remaining charges against Sudanese teacher and activist Jalila Khamis Koko must be dropped and she must be immediately and unconditionally released, Amnesty International said ahead of her court appearance tomorrow.

    Khamis Koko, a member of the Nuba ethnic group from Southern Kordofan, has been in detention for nine months during which time her health has deteriorated. She is currently suffering from high blood pressure due to stress.

    “The charges that the Sudanese National Security Service (NSS) has brought against Jalila are completely unfounded. They are typical of the systematic harassment and intimidation of human rights activists that characterise security service operations,” said Audrey Gaughran, Amnesty International’s Africa program director.

    “Jalila, a teacher and the mother of six children, has already endured months of detention and must now be freed to return to her work and family.”

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