URGENT ALERT: Sudan – Sudanese government forces arrest Dr Hasan Al-Turabi, Secretary General of Popular Congress party

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Dr Al-Turabi, was arrested following comments he made with regards to the widely expected ICC warrant against the Sudanese President.

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Islamic Human Rights Commission
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20 January 2009

URGENT ALERT: SUDAN – Sudanese government forces arrest Dr Hasan Al-Turabi, Secretary General of Popular Congress party


Contents
1. Summary
2. Background
3. Action Required
4. Sample Letters


1. Summary

Dr Hasan Al-Turabi, Secretary General of Popular People's Congress Party (PCP), was arrested on 14 January 2009, following certain comments he made with regards to the widely expected ICC warrant against Sudanese President Omer Hassan Al-Bashir.


2. Background

Arrest

Dr Hasan Al-Turabi, Secretary General of Popular People's Congress Party (PCP), and Dr Bashir Adam Rahma, the External Relations Secretary of the party, were arrested on 14 January 2009 in Khartoum. According to report by Amnesty International (AI), Dr Al-Turabi was taken from his home by armed agents of Sudanese National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS), and has since been held incoummunicado and without charge. He was recently transferred to Kober prison from the NISS detention centre where he was initially held, reports stated.


Reasons

It is reportedly believed that Dr Al-Turabi was arrested in relation to recent comments he made about the President Omer Hassan Al-Bashir, calling on him to surrender to the International Criminal Court. He reportedly stated last Monday, 12 January 2009, “He [President Al-Bashir] should assume responsibility for whatever is happening in Darfur, displacement, burning all the villages, rapes, I mean systematic rapes, continuously, I mean on a wide scale and the killing.”

An ICC warrant is widely expected against the Sudanese President after the ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo filed a number of charges on 14 July 2008, with the ICC board for review against President Al-Bashir, consisting of “…three counts of genocide, five of crimes against humanity and two of murder and accused Al-Bashir of masterminding a campaign to get rid of the African tribes in Darfur; Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa.”

According to AI, Dr Al-Turabi is one of the many individuals who have been recently arrested, especially since 14 July 2008, for their peaceful use of their right to freedom of expression.

With the ICC warrant imminent, the government is reportedly doing their utmost to curb any dissension against the regime by suppressing all views in support of the warrant. The spokesperson for the Sudanese cabinet has been quoted as saying, “There is zero tolerance to any attempts to break the national consensus. We will not allow any movements to create instability and confusion.”


Prison and health conditions

AI has called for Dr Al-Turbai's immediate release and has appealed against the PCP's leader's detention conditions and his denial to medication and specific diet that he requires. AI reports state that Dr Al-Turabi is about to turn 77 and thus has special requirements with regards to his health and food which are not being met in prison.

Further, according to reports, Dr Al-Turabi's family has not allowed to see him nor have they been informed of his health conditions and treatment in prison. His lawyers and family members are also unaware about the reason for his arrest.


3. Action Required

a. Write to Sudanese Ambassador to your country and urge him/her to immediately release Dr Al-Turabi.

UK campaigners can write to:

H.E. Mr Omer Mohammed Ahmed Siddig
Embassy of the Republic of Sudan
3 Cleveland Row
St. James's
London SW1A 1DD

Fax: +44 207 839 7560
Email: admin@sudanembassy.co.uk


4. Sample Letter
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Sample letters are given below for your convenience. Please note that model letters can be sent directly or adjusted as necessary to include further details. If you receive a reply to the letter you send, we request you to send a copy of the letter you sent and the reply you received to IHRC. This is extremely important as it helps IHRC to monitor the situation with regards to our campaigns and to improve upon the current model letters.

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a. Sample letter

[Your Name]
[Your Address]


[Date]

Dear [Name],

Re: Arrest of Dr Hasan Al-Turabi

I am very concerned about the recent arrest of Dr Hasan Al-Turabi, Secretary General of Popular People's Congress Party (PCP), on 14 January 2009. He is reportedly been held incommunicado and without charge at the Kober prison, Khartoum.

Dr Al-Turabi is about to turn 77 and thus has special requirements with regards to his health and food which are not being met in prison. He is also reportedly being held in inappropriate prison conditions. Reports also state that his lawyer and family have not been informed of the reasons for his arrest and that his family members are not being allowed to meet him.

I urge you to ensure that he is immediately released. Further, please also ensure that he is granted immediate access to his family members and legal representatives and that he is provided with all the necessities which are essential for his well being.

I look forward to hearing from you with your assurances regarding this matter.

Yours sincerely,


[Your Signature]
[Your Name]


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