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Urgent Interventions

Arbitrary detention of Mr. Osman Ibrahim and five others defenders at the Dabak prison

New information
SDN 001 / 0707 / OBS 083.2
Arbitrary detention / Fear of torture and ill-treatment / Harassment
August 6, 2007

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), has received new information and requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Sudan.

New information:

The Observatory has been informed by the Sudan Organisation Against Torture (SOAT) that Mr. Osman Ibrahim, spokesperson of the Farraig Committee Against the Building of the Kajbar Dam (CABKD), a group campaigning on behalf of the communities which are at risk of being affected by this dam, Messrs. Alam Aldeen Abd Alghni, Emad Merghni Seed Ahmed, Abd Allah Abd Alghume, lawyers, and Mr. Mugahid Mohamed Abdalla, a journalist, are all being detained in Dabak prison, North of Khartoum.

According to the information received, the above-mentioned defenders have all been refused visits from their families and lawyers, except Mr. Alam Aldeen Abd Alghni, who was allowed a 15 minutes visit by relatives.

The Observatory expresses its deep concern regarding the arbitrary detention of Messrs. Osman Ibrahim, Alam Aldeen Abd Alghni, Emad Merghni Seed Ahmed, Abd Allah Abd Alghume, and Mugahid Mohamed Abdalla, which seem to be aimed at sanctioning their human rights activities, and urges the Government to take all necessary measures in order to guarantee their physical and psychological integrity.

Background information:

On July 20, 2007, Mr. Osman Ibrahim was arrested by police officers early in the morning while at his home in Farraig village, Halfa municipality (Northern Sudan), without a warrant and without being informed of where he was being taken. Since then, his whereabouts remain unknown. In addition, the Observatory is concerned about his health as Mr. Ibrahim suffers from high blood pressure and diabetes and was in hospital just one week before he was taken away from his home by police officers.

Mr. Osman Ibrahim’s arrest followed incidents reported on June 13, 2007, when Sudanese security forces killed and injured civilians in the Farraig village by shooting at them during a peaceful demonstration against the construction of the Kajbar dam in the area. On that occasion, several individuals were arrested and detained in Dongola, the capital of the northern State, and in Khartoum[1]. Since then, Messrs. Alam Aldeen Abd Alghni, Emad Merghni Seed Ahmed, Abd Allah Abd Alghume, all lawyers who were attending the protest to look into any legal issue related to the event, and Mr. Mugahid Mohamed Abdalla, a journalist who covered the event, were also arrested on June 13, 2007.

Furthermore, the Observatory has been informed that the following members of the CABKD might be at risk of being arrested as security personnel have been asking and inquiring about them since June, as they also did in the case of Mr. Osman Ibrahim: Mr. Adham Nasor, representative of the Khartoum section of the CABKD and coordinator of the international committee of the organisation, Dr. Abdul Halim Sabar, Mr. Abdul Fatah Zaidan, Mr. Abdul Hakam Nasor, Dr. Ahmed Abdalla Khidir, Dr. Abdel Gadir Shallabi, working for the local developmental NGO “Nabata”, and Mr. Ezzendeen Idris, seventy year-old teacher from the Farraig section of the CABKD.

Action requested:

Please write to the authorities in Sudan urging them to:

  1. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Osman Ibrahim as well as of Messrs. Adham Nasor, Abdul Halim Sabar, Abdul Fatah Zaidan, Abdul Hakam Nasor, Ahmed Abdalla Khidir, Abdel Gadir Shallabi, Ezzendeen Idris, Alam Aldeen Abd Alghni, Emad Merghni Seed Ahmed, Abd Allah Abd Alghume and Mugahid Mohamed Abdalla, and of all CABKD members;
  2. Release all the above-mentioned persons immediately and unconditionally as their detention is arbitrary;
  3. Put an end to all acts of harassment against all Sudanese human rights defenders;
  4. Conform with the provisions of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 9, 1998, especially its Article 1, which states that “everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to promote and to strive for the protection and realisation of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels”, and Article 12.2, which provides that “the State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration”;
  5. More generally, ensure in all circumstances the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and with international and regional human rights instruments ratified by Sudan.


  • His Excellency Lieutenant General Omar Hassan al-Bashir, President of the Republic of Sudan, Presidential Palace, PO Box 281, Khartoum, Sudan, Fax: +249 183 783 223
  • His Excellency Salva Kiir Mayardit, First Vice-President, People’s Palace, PO Box 281, Khartoum, Sudan, Fax: + 249 11 779977 / 771025
  • His Excellency Ali Osman Mohamed Taha, Vice-President, People’s Palace, PO Box 281, Khartoum, Sudan, Fax: + 249 183 77 10 25
  • Mr Mohamed Ali Al-Mardi, Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Ministry of Justice, Khartoum, Sudan; Fax: + 249 183 78 07 96
  • Mr Lam Akol Ajawin, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs/External Relations, PO Box 873, Khartoum, Sudan, Fax: + 249 183 77 93 83
  • Mr. Al Zubeir Beshir Taha, Minister of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Interior, PO Box 873, Khartoum, Sudan, Fax: +249 183 77 93 83
  • Dr Yasir Sid Ahmed, Head of the Advisory Council for Human Rights PO Box 302, Khartoum, Sudan, Fax: +249 183 770 883
  • Dr Abdelmuneim Osman Mohamed Taha, Advisory Council for Human Rights, Rapporteur, PO Box 302, Khartoum, Sudan, Fax: +249 183 77 08 83
  • Permanent Mission of the Republic of Sudan to the United Nations in Geneva, Avenue Blanc 47, 1202 Geneva, Switzerland, Tel: +41 22 731 26 63, Fax: +41 22 731 26 56, Email: /
  • The Embassy of Sudan in Brussels , 124; 1050 Brussels. Tel.:0032 (2) 647 51 59 / 0032 (2) 647 94 94, Fax: 0032 (2) 648 34 99, Email:

Please also write to the diplomatic missions or embassies of Sudan in your respective country.


Geneva - Paris, August 6, 2007

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.

The Observatory, a FIDH and OMCT venture, is dedicated to the protection of Human Rights Defenders and aims to offer them concrete support in their time of need. The Observatory was the winner of the 1998 Human Rights Prize of the French Republic.

To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line:
Tel and fax FIDH + 33 (0) 1 43 55 20 11 / +33 1 43 55 18 80
Tel and fax OMCT + 41 (0) 22 809 49 39 / + 41 22 809 49 29

[1] See OMCT Urgent Appeal issued on June 20, 2007.

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