17 April 2017

Sudan: 'Appeal Against Release of Dr Mudawi Ibrahim Is Improper' - Defence Lawyer

Khartoum — The appeal by the State Security Prosecutor against the ruling of the attorney-general concerning the release of human rights defenders Dr Mudawi Ibrahim and Hafiz Idris on bail is improper and illegal, says defence lawyer Nabil Adeeb.

"The prosecution cannot appeal a decision of the same authority it belongs to," Adeeb commented to Dabanga Radio.

The lawyer stated that there is "no justification at all" for the continued detention of Dr Ibrahim after the attorney-general ordered his and Idris' release on bail on 28 March, "pending further investigations". He said that the defence team is "in the process of addressing the attorney-general for their immediate release".

On 6 December, agents of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) held Dr Mudawi Ibrahim, a well-known human rights defender, at his office at the University of Khartoum, together with his driver Adam El Sheikh, and took them to an unknown destination.

A few days earlier, NISS agents had detained Hafiz Idris, human rights activist and head of the Youth Association of the North Darfur camps for the displaced, during a visit to the home of Dr Ibrahim in Omdurman.

Incommunicado

The three men remained detained incommunicado for several weeks. In a meeting with lawyers of the Darfur Bar Association at the office of the NISS prosecutor end February, Idris said that he was tortured during his detention at a NISS site in Khartoum. He was kicked in the testicles until he urinated blood. While trying to protect his testicles, he suffered damage to his fingers. He further complained about psychological pressure which caused him a temporary loss of the ability to see.

After Dr Ibrahim was transferred to Kober Prison in Khartoum North, he embarked on a hunger strikey. He was reportedly beaten and in an attempt to force him to lift the strike, his hands and feet were shackled. The UN Independent Expert on the Situation of Human Rights in Sudan, Aristide Nononsi, who visited him at the prosecution office a month later, voiced his concern in a statement.

Dr Ibrahim was not interrogated throughout his detention, until he was brought to the NISS prosecution in late February. State-controlled newspapers and websites however accused him of "collaborating with foreign entities".

He told the Darfur lawyers that NISS officers attempted to link a number of Darfuri detainees with him, using unfounded evidence. He said that some of them were threatened with the intent to obtain a confession.

Released

On 13 March, driver Adam El Sheikh was suddenly released. His family had not been allowed to visit him during the entire detention period. The day before, lawyer Tasneem El Zaki, and Nura Obeid, the accountant of Dr Ibrahim, were released. Both women were held by the NISS in December in relation to Ibrahim's case.

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