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Sudan: Political activist Nabil Mohamed El-Niwari is at risk of torture

    Wednesday, October 11, 2017 - 12:21

    Download PDF of UA 231/17 Sudan 

    PDF icon213 Sudan.pdf

    Nabil Mohamed El-Niwari, a Sudanese political activist and member of the opposition party Sudan Congress, was arrested by the Sudanese National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) in Khartoum on 5 September.

    He is currently being held without charge at the NISS detention centre at Kober Prison in Khartoum North. He has been denied access to a lawyer and is at risk of torture and other ill-treatment while in detention.

    Nabil Mohamed El-Niwari, a 57-year-old electrical engineer, and father of three, is a Sudanese –Irish national. He is the External Relation Secretary of the Sudan Congress Party in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

    A family member told Amnesty International that Nabil Mohamed El-Niwari was arrested and detained for 10 hours on 29 August by the NISS. They questioned him about his activities as a member of the Sudan Congress Party.

    He was released but had to daily report to their office even during the Eid-Al-Adha holidays.

    On 5 September, Nabil Mohamed El-Niwari went to NISS office in Khartoum, where he was re-arrested and detained at the NISS detention centre at Kober Prison. A family member told Amnesty International that he had only been allowed a 30 minute visit by his wife at the NISS headquarters in Khartoum North on 13 September, but had not been allowed access to his lawyer.

    He is at risk of torture and other ill-treatment while in detention. Amnesty International has documented several cases of torture and other ill-treatment of detainees by NISS agents while in custody.

    Amnesty International considers Nabil Mohamed El-Niwari a prisoner of conscience, detained solely on the basis of the peaceful exercise of his right to freedom of expression.

    Please send a letter and/or email without delay.

    * Start with a sentence about yourself.

    * Urge authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Nabil Mohamed El-Niwari, as he is being held solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression;

    * Call on authorities to ensure that, until his release, he is not subjected to torture and other ill-treatment;

    * Tell authorites to ensure that he is granted regular access to his family and a lawyer of his choice.


    Address your appeals to:

    HE Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir

    Office of the President

    People’s Palace

    PO Box 281

    Khartoum, Sudan

    Salutation:      Your Excellency


    Minister for Justice

    Idris Ibrahim Jameel

    Ministry of Justice

    PO Box 302

    Al Nil Avenue

    Khartoum, Sudan

    Salutation:      Your Excellency


    Please send a copy to:

    His Excellency Mahmoud Fadl Abdelrasoul Mohammed

    Chargé d’Affaires, Embassy of Sudan

    354 Stewart Street

    Ottawa, Ontario K1N 6K8

    Fax:               1 (613) 235-6880



    Minister for Interior

    Hamed al-Mannan

    Ministry of Interior

    PO Box 873

    Khartoum, Sudan

    Additional Information:

    Amnesty International has received numerous reports of a continuous NISS crackdown on the activities of political activists’ and members of the opposition party, Sudan Congress Party. Since November 2016, at least a dozen members of Sudan Congress Party were detained by NISS for few weeks before being released without charge. They were held solely for peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression and association. Amnesty International documented a number of cases where members of the Sudan Congress Party had been subjected by NISS agents to torture and other ill-treatment during their detention. Victims of torture in Sudan have little, if any, recourse to justice and some are even punished for trying to seek justice.

    The NISS maintains broad powers of arrest and detention under the National Security Act 2010 (NSA), which allows suspects to be detained for up to four-and-a-half months without judicial review. NISS officials often use these powers to arbitrarily arrest and detain individuals, many of whom are then subjected to torture and other ill-treatment. Under the same Act, NISS agents are provided with protection from prosecution for any act committed in the course of their work, which has resulted in a pervasive culture of impunity. The constitutional amendment to Article 151 (NSA) passed on 5 January 2015 that expanded the mandate of the NISS has exacerbated the situation. The amendment transformed the NISS from an intelligence agency focused on information gathering, analysis and advice, to a fully-fledged security agency with a broad mandate to exercise a mix of functions usually carried out by the armed forces or law enforcement agencies. It gave the NISS unlimited discretion to decide what constitutes a political, economic or social threat and how to respond to such threats. Neither the NSA nor the revised Article 151 explicitly or implicitly require the NISS to abide by relevant international, regional and domestic law in the operation of its duties.

    If you wish to receive updates on this case, email In the subject line, write “Keep me updated on UA 213/17 "Sudan".


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