19 May 2013

Sudan: Detained Women Continue Hunger Strike in North Kordofan Prison, Sudan

Kadugli — Three of the 18 women who embarked on a hunger strike on 13 May are sustaining their protest to draw attention to their situation.

The women were arrested at various points last year for alleged links to the Sudanese rebel group, SPLA-North.

According to a statement last week by Human Rights and Development Organisation (HUDO), after serving six months in detention, they have still had no access to any legal procedures or courts. The women demand that they are either immediately released or given access to their lawyers and due legal process.

On Saturday, HUDO told Radio Dabanga that on Friday afternoon - the fifth day of their strike - the women were informed at a meeting with the director of El Obeid prison that he had contacted the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) in Kadugli.

The director informed them of a letter from Police Maj Gen Mugadam Habilla, South Kordofan's state director of police instructing him to extend the women's detention for another six months.

Habilla's justification is that "most of the members of the state security committee are absent, either fighting at the front at Abu Karshola, or in Abyei on matters related to the death of a community leader. According to Habilla, "the women will be detained until the security committee has made a decision".

The prison manager requested the women break their strike, promising to re-contact the Kadugli authorities on Sunday "to solve their problem".

The HUDO statement says that while three women, Al-Radiea Suliman Tia, Zeinab Musa, and Hiba Abdul Rahman refused to break their strike until their demands are met, 15 women agreed to suspend their strike in the hope of being released on Sunday, but assured that they would resume their strike if they are not released.

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