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Sudan

    April 03, 2013

    Egypt and Sudan must make urgent and concerted efforts to stop asylum-seekers and refugees being kidnapped from camps in Sudan, forcibly transported to Egypt, and being severely abused in the Sinai desert, Amnesty International said in a new briefing.

    For over two years, refugees and asylum-seekers have been kidnapped from in and around the Shagarab refugee camps in eastern Sudan, near the Eritrean border. The vast majority of victims are Eritrean. They are then trafficked to Egypt’s Sinai desert, where they are held captive by Bedouin criminal gangs while ransom payments are demanded from their families.

    Amnesty International has received repeated reports of brutal violence used against captives in Sinai, including rape and sexual abuse, beatings, burning and other violent and cruel treatment.

    The captors reportedly telephone their victims’ relatives while inflicting violence in order to extort money, often demanding ransoms of up to USD 30-40,000.

    April 02, 2013

    Sudan’s prisoner amnesty announced yesterday does not go far enough, according to Amnesty International.

    “This prisoner amnesty barely scratches the surface,” said Netsanet Belay, Amnesty International’s Africa Program Director. 

    “Only seven political prisoners have been released. Meanwhile, dozens of people remain in arbitrary detention, some of them prisoners of conscience.”

    Seven political prisoners were released overnight.  Six were prominent members of political parties, namely Abdulaziz Khaled, Entisar al-Agali, Hisham al-Mufti, Abdulrahim Abdallah, Mohammed Zain Alabidein and Youssef al-Kauda.  Hatim Ali, a youth activist, was also released.  Amnesty International had been calling for his immediate and unconditional release.

    Over 118 people are reportedly in arbitrary detention in the context of the Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan conflicts, including women detained without charges with their infant children.

    In addition, a number of individuals remain on the death row for their involvement in armed opposition. None of their sentences were commuted.

    March 28, 2013

    Elements of government forces, along with armed militias, are carrying out multiple large-scale attacks against civilians in North Darfur in what represents the worst instance of violence in recent years, Amnesty International says in a briefing today.

    Border Guards, who are under the authority of the Sudanese Military Intelligence, have been involved in attacks that have reportedly killed more than 500 people so far this year.

    According to the UN, roughly 100,000 people have been displaced since violence broke out on 5 January when an officer of the Border Guards and leader of the Rizeigat tribe both laid claim to a gold-rich piece of land in Jebel ‘Amer.

    Amnesty International is calling upon the Sudanese government to ensure a prompt, impartial and effective investigation into these allegations.

    “Any member of the Border Guards who is reasonably suspected of involvement in committing such attacks must be immediately suspended from their posts,” says Netsanet Belay, Amnesty International’s Africa Director.

    March 15, 2013

    The government of Chad must arrest and surrender the President of Sudan, President Omar al-Bashir to the International Criminal Court (ICC) when he visits Chad on Monday, says Amnesty International.

    If the Chadian government fails to arrest President al-Bashir, the UN Security Council needs to step in and insist that Chad complies with its international legal obligations.

    The trip by Sudan’s President al-Bashir will coincide with the 10th anniversary of the start of the Darfur conflict.

    As a party to the Rome State of the International Criminal Court, Chad has a legal obligation to cooperate fully with the arrest of all ICC suspects and to ensure their surrender to the ICC.

    “If he is not apprehended, President al-Bashir’s planned fourth visit to Chad will be a further slap in the face to all victims of serious human rights violations in Darfur,” said Amnesty International’s Africa Programme Director, Netsanet Belay. 

    “Such regular and open invitations to a fugitive from international justice should not be ignored any further.”

    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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