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Urgent Interventions

Sudan: a 16-year-old child sentenced to "cross-amputation"

Case SDN 231003.CC
Risk of torture

The International Secretariat of OMCT requests your URGENT intervention in the following situation in Sudan.

Brief description of the situation

The International Secretariat of OMCT has been informed by the Sudanese Organisation against Torture, a member of the OMCT network, of the sentencing of a 16-year-old child to cross-amputation in Sudan.

According to the information received, on 14 October 2003, Nyala Special Court in Darfour sentenced Mohamed Hassan Hamdan, a 16-year-old nomad belonging to the Ja’afra tribe, to ‘cross’ amputation (amputation of the right hand and left foot). Mohamed Hassan Hamdan was convicted under article 167 of the Penal Code (1991) for armed robbery (Hiraba). He was arrested near Rehaid Albirdi area, south west of Nyala, in August 2003 with another 5 individuals. All of them were accused of armed robbery, but Mohamed Hassan Hamdan was the only one convicted.

His lawyer will submit an appeal to the Appeal Court in Nyala. The sentence of cross amputation will be carried out if his appeal is rejected.

The International Secretariat of OMCT is gravely concerned for the physical and psychological integrity of Mohamed Hassan Hamdan. OMCT wishes to emphasize that, under international human rights conventions ratified by Sudan, torture, such as amputation, is prohibited under any circumstance. This form of corporal punishment remains prohibited, even when it is imposed as a criminal sentence. OMCT is particularly concerned by the fact that the Nyala Special Court does not allow for fair trials and that the victim is a child as defined by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. As such, he is entitled to the particular protection afforded by article 37 of the Convention, which absolutely prohibits any form of torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.

Action requested

Please write to the authorities in Sudan urging them to:

i. Immediately revoke the sentence to which Mohamed Hassan Hamdan was condemned;
ii. Ensure that Mohamed Hassan Hamdan be tried in a manner consistent with international standards of fair trial and juvenile justice.
iii. Take all necessary measures to ensure respect for the international human rights instruments, in particular the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which Sudan is party, which includes respect for the prohibition of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and punishment, such as the practice of corporal punishment;


· President of the Republic of Sudan, His Excellency Lieutenant-General Omar Hassan al-Bashir, President' s Palace, PO Box 281, Khartoum, Sudan, Fax: +24911 771651/783223/779977

· First Vice-President, Mr Ali Osman Mohamed Taha, People's Palace PO Box 281, Khartoum, Sudan, Fax : +249 11 771651/ 779977

· Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Mr Ali Mohamed Osman Yassin, Ministry of Justice, Khartoum, Sudan, Fax: +249 11 771479/774842/774906

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

· Advisory Council for Human Rights, Dr Yasir Sid Ahmed, PO Box 302, Khartoum, Sudan, Fax: +249 11 779173/770883

· Minister of Internal Affairs, Major General Abdul-Rahim Muhammed Hussein, Ministry of Interior, PO Box 281, Khartoum, Sudan, Fax: +249 11 774339/776554/777900/773046/770186

· Minister of Federal Government, Dr Nafie Ali Nafie, Office of the Presidents People's Palace, PO Box 281, Khartoum, Sudan, Fax : +24911 771651/783223

· His Excellency Ambassador Mr. Ibrahim Mirghani Ibrahim, Permanent Mission of the Republic of Sudan to the United Nations in Geneva, PO Box 335, 1211 Geneva, Switzerland, Fax: +4122 731 26 56, E-mail:;

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

Geneva, October 23rd, 2003

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