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Sudan
23.12.02
Urgent Interventions

Sudan: release of Khidir Altayeb Yousif, who claims that he and other student detainees were tortured

Case SDN 031202.1
Follow-up of Case SDN 031202
Release / Torture / Incommunicado detention / Risk of torture

Geneva, December 23rd, 2002

The International Secretariat of OMCT has received new information regarding the following situation in Sudan.

New information

The International Secretariat of OMCT has been informed by the Sudanese Organisation Against Torture, a member of the OMCT network, of the release of Khidir Altayeb Yousif, one of three brothers being detained incommunicado in Kober Prison, who claims that he and other student detainees were tortured during their detention in Sudan.

According to the information received, 20-year old Khidir Altayeb Yousif, who was arrested during the early hours of December 29th, 2002, along with his two brothers Hashim Altayeb Yousif (student) and Alshafie Altayeb Yousif (teacher), was released on December 16th, and has since given testimony concerning the torture to which he and his brothers, as well as other student detainees, were subjected during their detention. His two brothers remain in incommunicado detention.

According to Mr. Khidir Altayeb Yousif's statements, he and his brothers were arrested at gunpoint in their neighbour's house by 21 armed security officers, and were taken in a pickup truck to the Jabra neighbourhood, where the security officers arrested other students. They were then taken to the security offices near Magahbir Farough. They were held here along with other students, including: Alshaarani, from Alkalakla al ghoba square no.7; Mohamed Abdalrahman and six other students. These six students, who are all members of the PNC, claimed to have been arrested while praying in a mosque.

According to the information received, the security officers began beating and whipping Khidir Altayeb Yousif and his two brothers at around 2 am. The beatings were reportedly carried out by Officer Gharieb Alla, who appeared to be in command, as well as officers named Adam (nick-named "Scary guy"), Alboasiari Mohamed Ahmed (who lives in the same neighbourhood as the three brothers), Bashir and seven other un-named officers. The brothers were reportedly questioned about the Sudanese Students Democratic Front, the Communist Party and about their other brother Lenin's whereabouts and political activities. The brothers were reportedly tortured from 2 am to 6 am, with the beatings lasting around 15 minutes per session with a short break in between. During the first 36 hours of their detention they were only provided with one "very poor" meal consisting of foul-smelling beans. The officers continued to verbally abuse the detainees throughout this time.

According to the information received, at 6.30 pm on November 29th, the brothers were moved to the security offices near Alghiyada Alamna (Army Headquarters), were they were initially detained for two hours in a very small cell, known as "the heater," which was very hot and had no ventilation. Hashim requested to go to the toilet during this time, but his request was refused. At 9 pm the same day they were taken to the political section of Kober Prison, where Khidir Altayeb Yousif was detained until his release on December 16th. His brothers remain in incommunicado detention and there are grave concerns for their physical and psychological integrity and fears that they may again be subjected to torture or other forms of ill-treatment.

The International Secretariat of OMCT is gravely concerned by these reports of arbitrary arrests, incommunicado detention and the use of torture upon students. While OMCT welcomes the release of Khidir Altayeb Yousif, it remains gravely concerned for the personal integrity of Hashim Altayeb Yousif, Alshafie Altayeb Yousif and the other student detainees, given that they are being detained incommunicado and have already been subjected to torture, giving rise to fears that they may again be subjected to such treatment. OMCT calls on the authorities to immediately release these persons, in the absence of valid legal charges, and ensure that they receive adequate reparation. OMCT also urges the Sudanese Authorities to launch a prompt, exhaustive and impartial investigations into the allegations of the use of torture, identify those responsible and bring them to justice in accordance with international human rights law.

Brief reminder of the situation

According to the information received, during the early hours of 29 November 2002, a group of armed security officers arrested three brothers, a teacher and two students, after raiding their house in Al Kalakla Algubba, Khartoum, allegedly in search of a fourth brother, Lenin Altayeb, a well-known student leader.

The three brothers are 27-year old Alshafie Altayeb Yousif, a teacher at Al Sudan School in Al Kalakla Algubba; 20-year old Khidir Altayeb Yousif, a second year student of engineering at Sudan University, and 23-year old Hashim Altayeb Yousif, a fourth year maths student at the University of Khartoum.

The Security forces have told their family that the three men are to be held until their elder brother Lenin Altayeb presented himself to security officers. Lenin Altayeb is a former student leader at Al Nilein University, and a well-known member of the Sudanese Students Democratic Front (SSDF). Lenin has been arrested on 3 previous occasions, the first of which was in September 1996, when he was arrested with 19 other student leaders of the SSDF and severely tortured. These arrests occur against a background of widespread arrests of students (see previous appeal, Case SDN 031202, for further details.

Action requested :

Please write to the authorities in Sudan urging them to:

i. take all necessary measures to guarantee the physical and psychological integrity of Alshafie and Hashim Altayeb Yousif, Alshaarani, Mohamed Abdalrahman and the six other students mentioned above;
ii. order their immediate release in the absence of valid legal charges or, if such charges exist, bring them before an impartial and competent tribunal and guarantee their procedural rights at all times;
iii. guarantee an immediate investigation into the circumstances of these events, identify those responsible, bring them before a civil competent and impartial tribunal and apply the penal, civil and/or administrative sanctions provided by law;
iv. guarantee adequate reparation to all persons who were subjected to torture or ill-treatment;
v. guarantee the respect of human rights and the fundamental freedoms throughout the country in accordance with international human rights standards.

Addresses :

· His Excellency Lieutenant General Omar Hassan al-Bashir, President of the Republic of Sudan, President's Palace, PO Box 281, Khartoum, Sudan. Fax: + 249 11 771651/ 787676 / 783223
· Mr. Ali Mohamed Osman Yassin, Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Ministry of Justice, Khartoum, Sudan. Fax: + + 249 11 774842 / 774906 / 788941
· Major General Abdul Rahim Muhammed Hussein, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, PO Box 873, Khartoum, Sudan. Fax: + 249 11 774339 / 773046 / 770186 / 777900 / 779383
· Mr. Yasir Sid Ahmed, Advisory Council for Human Rights, PO Box 302, Khartoum, Sudan. Fax: + 249 11 779173 / 770883
· His Excellency Ambassador Mr Ibrahim Mirghani Ibrahim, Permanent Mission of Sudan to the United Nations in Geneva, PO Box 335, 1211 Geneva, Switzerland, Fax: + 4122 7312656. E-mail: mission.sudan@ties.itu.int

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

Geneva, December 23rd, 2002

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