URGENT ALERT: Sudan’s opposition leader Hassan al-Turabi rearrested

Islamic Human Rights Commission

05 April 2004

URGENT ALERT: Sudan’s opposition leader Hassan al-Turabi rearrested

1. Background
2. Suggested Action

1. The Sudanese government has begun a wide scale series of arrests against members of the Popular National Congress Party almost four years after similar persecution of the PNCP in 2001.

Sudan’s opposition leader Hassan al-Turabi was rearrested on the 31st March 2004 along with 10 other senior political officers of the Popular Congress Party. A list of up to 50 names for arrest has been issued in what seems a major clampdown on the Popular Congress Party.

Dr Turabi, now in his early 70s, was previously detained in 2001 after a so called power struggle with President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, who seized power in a military coup in 1989. Dr Turabi was released in October 2003 following an international campaign to free him.

Party officials have said the first arrests were made shortly after government security forces rounded up and arrested approximately 27 military officers mainly from Western Sudan accused of plotting a coup.
The arrested officers are thought to be from west Sudan, where rebels have been fighting the government for more than a year. It is alleged that those arrested are from the Sudanese air forces and have rejected the military campaign waged by the government against the citizens of Darfur in which indiscriminate aerial bombardment has been used. The authorities have stated that those arrested had links with Dr Turabi’s opposition party.

Dr Turabi has denied any involvement with an attempted coup or any connection to the officers. However he said that he supported the charges of western rebels who say the government has neglected their region.

Dr Turabi is being investigated for six charges, two of which were related to \”seeking to dismantle a government\” and carry a death sentence.

The party which has been very critical of President Bashir’s policies has been suspended of all political activities.

IHRC is concerned about the use of torture against those taken prisoner in the latest wave of arrests and the crackdown against the party which amounts to a witch hunt against those that disagree with the government.
The track record of the current Sudanese government steadily worsens and more details can be found in the report of the Sudanese Organisation Against Torture (SOAT), based in London, UK. A copy of their annual report on Sudan can be accessed by clicking on the link below.

2. Suggested action:

Please write to the following addresses expressing your concern for the treatment of all Sudanese detainees, and demanding the immediate release of the recent detainees named above and all political detainees.

Mr Ali Osman Mohamed Taha
First Vice-President
People\’s Palace
PO Box 281
Khartoum, Sudan
Telegram: First Vice-President, Khartoum, Sudan
Fax : + 249 11 771651 / 779977
Salutation: Your Excellency

Mr Ali Mohamed Osman Yassin
Minister of Justice and Attorney General
Ministry of Justice
Khartoum, Sudan
Telegrams: Justice Minister, Khartoum, Sudan
Fax: + 249 11 771479
Salutation: Dear Minister

Dr Nafie Ali Nafie
Minister of Federal Government
Office of the Presidents People\’s Palace
PO Box 281
Khartoum, Sudan
Telegrams: Federal Government Minister, Khartoum, Sudan
Salutation: Dear Minister

Mr Mustafa Osman Ismail
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
PO Box 873
Khartoum, Sudan
Telegrams: Foreign Minister, Khartoum, Sudan
Fax : + 249 11 779383
Salutation: Dear Minister

Please also send letters to Jack Straw MP reminding him that he has a duty to raise this issue with the Sudanese government.

British Foreign Secretary,
Rt. Hon. Jack Straw MP
King Charles Street

or write to the Minister of Foreign Affairs in your country.

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Holy Qur’an: Chapter 4, Verse 75

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