Sudanese group calls to release detained journalists
The Sudan Human Rights Organization – Cairo notes with grave concerns that the Government of Sudan started to impose a new cycle of terror on journalists to curtail the right of free expression in the post-election era. Political leaders of whom PCP opposition leader Hassan al-Turabi is still restricted from public activity by home detention were also harassed by unlawful arrest for different periods of time.
Recently, massive abuses of law were exercised by attorneys and officers of the National Intelligence and Security Department against many Darfuri students in several universities, including arbitrary arrests, detention in unknown places, harassment, and physical tortures. A detailed report on these cases is under way.
Sunday May 16th, 2010, the Security Department invaded the residence of journalist Aba Zer al-Amin, terrorized his family, confiscated his cell phone, and escorted him under heavy guard to an unknown place. Arbitrarily arrested, Aba Zer was forced under torture to sign a judicial affidavit admitting the commission of crimes against the state.
Although the source of accusation appeared to be a report Aba Zer earlier wrote about elections in which he predicted Ali Osman Taha victory over Omer al-Bashir, the tortured journalist was further accused of crimes punishable by death by sections 50, 53, 65, 66 that implied destruction of the constitutional regime and public safety, spying, membership of criminal and terrorist groups, dissemination of false information, and acts of terrorism, besides violation of two articles of the press and publications act. In addition, Aba Zer was accused of obstruction and aggression against a security officer in the course of interrogation.
Aba Zer and his colleague Abu Jawhara of the Ray al-Sh’ab newspaper were both subjected to unlawful arrest, detention, interrogation for long hours, denial of visitation, harassment of family members, and tortures. 12 officers interrogated Aba Zer in 4 offices. The reported tortures against Aba Zer and his colleague Abu Jawhara included the same physical and psychological tortures largely exercised by the NIF/NCP security department such as using electric shocks, beating, insulting, and starving the victims.
The tortured journalists continue to suffer serious medical conditions, according to physician reports. The Security Department attorneys denied the tortured journalists the right to medical attention and visitation. Still, on Sunday May 23rd, Hind, the Omdurman North district attorney refused to accept the family’s complaint against tortures of Aba Zer by security officers.
• The Organization condemns in the strongest terms possible the unabated abuses of authority by the Government of Sudan intelligence and security service;
• Condemning further the tortures and abuses of law clearly evident in the case of Abu Zer and his colleague, SHRO-Cairo calls on the government to release Abu Zer and his colleagues immediately from detention;
• The attorneys and the security officers who committed these heinous tortures must be put to trial by law; and
• The victimized journalists are entitled to full medical treatment and legal compensation from the National Intelligence and Security Department by law.