Islamic Human Rights Commission
28 May 2010
Update Alert: Sudan – Opposition journalists detained and tortured
Four members of the opposition Popular Congress party (PCP) and senior journalists in the suspended Rai Al-Shaab newspaper were arrested and tortured at the State Security offices in Khartoum, Sudan.
Abu Zar Alamin, Deputy Director of the suspended Rai Al-Shaab newspaper, confirmed that he was subjected to physical torture, including beatings and electric shocks.
He will be standing before the prosecution on charges of attempting to undermine the regime, waging war against the state and terrorism related crimes.
Following the arrest of Al-Turabi, leader of PCP, on 15 May 2010, security forces confiscated all publications and closed down the premises of Ray Al Shaab newspaper, owned by Al-Turabi’s party. In addition, four senior journalists including Abu Zar Alamin, Deputy Cheif Editor were arrested.
On the 16 May 2010 security forces arrested Abu Zar from his house after searching his home they failed to present a search warrant and arrested Abu Zar, taking him to an undisclosed location. The family tried to track his whereabouts for three days with no success until 20 May when Abu Zar called his brother, Anas, and told him that he was transferred from the State Security headquarters to the State Security Prosecution. However, when Anas arrived at the State Prosecution, he was informed that Abu Zar went with Khaled Balh, the prosecutor responsible for investigations, in order to write his legal admission.
The Prosecutor said that Abu Zar can’t be released despite having a sponsor because the charges against him could possibly incur the death penalty or life imprisonment. The charges included undermining the regime, spying on the country, terrorism, publishing false news and violating public security.
One of the police officers, who tortured Abu Zar, filed a compliant against him for biting his nose. His wife responded to that by saying Abu Zar was trying to defend himself because he was being electrocuted and strangled.
Abu Zar was deceptively taken to the clinic with fellow prisoner and work colleague Abu Jawhara, after they complained of pain and injury. They were brutally beaten in front of the doctor until they fell unconscious. While Abu Zar was regaining consciousness and still drowsy, they forced him to sign a document in which he was unaware of the content. After repeated requests and intense pressure from the family Abu Zar was assessed by a doctor. The doctor’s report stated that there was a large amount of blood in his urine, possible damage to his left kidney, bruises all over his body and significant damage to his bowels.
The family of Abu Zar went to submit a complaint to the Om Durman Prosecution against the Security Services for torturing Abu Zar, the prosecutor rejected the complaint under the pretext of non-specialization.
IHRC requests the Sudanese government to respect Freedom of Expression protected in international law and to investigate the allegations of torture and insures that the detainees have a right to a fair trail. IHRC appeals to the Sudanese government to allow the detainees to receive medical treatment and also to have their families visiting rights.
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“And what reason have you that you should not fight in the way of Allah and of the weak among the men and the women and the children, (of) those who say: Our Lord! Cause us to go forth from this town, whose people are oppressors, and give us from Thee a guardian and give us from Thee a helper.”
Holy Qur’an: Chapter 4, Verse 75
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