Sudan: ‘Not guilty’ verdict welcome but torture in prison must be investigated

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
QUOTE

22 January 2019

Responding to the ‘not guilty’ verdict issued today at the re-trial of Sudanese student activist, Asim Omar Hassan, who was originally sentenced to death for killing a police officer during protests in 2016, Joan Nyanyuki, Amnesty International’s Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes, said:

“We join Asim’s family in celebrating this good news which comes as a huge relief after he was originally sentenced to death for a crime he did not commit.”

“The authorities must however conduct an independent and effective investigation into allegations that he was tortured in prison. Though Asim has been acquitted, justice can only truly be done once the officials responsible for his ill-treatment are held to account, and he has been provided with appropriate redress for his injuries and imprisonment.”

The Sudanese authorities must review laws that allow for the torture and ill-treatment of detainees, notably by the National Intelligence and Security Services and the police.”

 

Background

Asim Omar was arrested on 2 May 2016 and accused of killing a police officer during protests at the University of Khartoum the previous month. He pleaded not guilty but was convicted and sentenced to death on 24 September 2017.

He successfully appealed the sentence, and the judge ordered a re-trial of his case in August 2018. While in prison, he alleges that he was severely beaten by prison guards sustaining injuries on one of his legs, his testicles and his ears that rendered him incapable of appearing in court for one of the sessions.

Public Document

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For more information or to arrange an interview please contact Catherine Mgendi on:
+254 737 197 614
email: catherine.mgendi@amnesty.org   

Verschlagwortet mit

Sudan: Security forces continue deadly onslaught on protestors and medical personnel

18 January 2019

Spokespersons available to take media interviews

Sudan’s security forces must stop their ongoing deadly onslaught on protesters and medical personnel, Amnesty International said today following the death of a doctor, a man and a child from gunshot wounds inflicted during the 17 January protests in Khartoum’s Burri district. 

The organization also received reports of further raids of medical facilities by security personnel, who fired teargas inside hospitals and assaulted doctors. 

“It is an outrage that Sudanese security forces continue to use lethal force on protestors and key service providers like doctors, killing people in an unbridled spree that is even affecting children, said Sarah Jackson, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

The Sudanese authorities must immediately take charge of the security forces and ensure they stop using lethal force against protestors. They must also bring to an immediate end the continued onslaught against medical facilities and personnel, injured protestors and other people seeking treatment in hospitals, which constitutes violations of the rights to health and personal integrity.”

Amnesty International spoke to a medical doctor on duty at Al Faisal Specialized Hospital in Khartoum on Thursday, who said security forces raided the hospital in the afternoon, fired teargas and arrested him and another doctor, as well as two other medical staff. The medics, who were beaten during the arrest, were detained and interrogated at the National Intelligence and Security Services offices. He was released without charge after 8:30pm, while the others were released several hours later.

The organization also verified videos shared on social media and via WhatsApp showing security forces opening fire on protesters gathered at a football pitch near a mosque in Khartoum’s Burri district on Thursday. At least one fell to the ground as a result of his injury and had to be carried away by other protesters. The injured were reportedly taken to Royal Care Hospital, where many protesters remained overnight.  

On 17 January, Sudan’s security forces fired teargas into homes and buildings in the Burri area, an outright contravention of international guidelines on the use of force that require all force to comply with the principles of necessity and proportionality and forbid the use of teargas in confined spaces.

“This blatant violation of national and international laws must stop immediately, and independent and impartial investigations must be promptly launched into all allegations of human rights violations, including the deaths reported in the context of the protests, so that all those found responsible are brought to justice in fair trials,” said Sarah Jackson.

“By participating in these protests, the people of Sudan are exercising their legitimate rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. Instead of trying to curtail these rights, the government should address the root causes of the economic crisis that has driven the people to the streets.”

Sudan: Security officers pursue injured protestors into hospital

10 January 2019

Spokespersons available to take media interviews

Sudanese security officers last night entered a hospital and fired live bullets and teargas horrifying patients and hospital staff as they pursued people seeking treatment after they sustained gunshot injuries during protests earlier in the day in Omdurman, on the outskirts of Khartoum.

The security officers opened fire in the hospital court yard and then marched into the emergency and medical sections of the Omdurman Hospital roughing up both patients and doctors.

“This attack on a hospital is an outrageous violation of international law. Patients and doctors in Omdurman Hospital were attacked with tear gas and live bullets as Sudanese security forces ramped up their mission to suppress peaceful protests,” said Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes, Sarah Jackson.

“There must be an urgent investigation into this horrific attack, and all officers involved must be held accountable. The Government of Sudan must also take immediate action to stop the practice of shooting protesters and respect the Sudanese people’s right to freedom of expression.”

Since 19 December 2018 there have been more than 380 protests across Sudan against the high cost of living. More than 40 people have been killed and many more have sustained debilitating injuries as government security officers violently cracked down on protestors. More than 1,000 people have been arrested.

On 9 January, at least three people were killed when security forces opened fire on protestors in Omdurman, while eight people were hospitalized with gunshot wounds in the head, chest, stomach and legs.

 

Amnesty International today called for the urgent release of a man who was shot and injured in protests on December 25 and is now being held by the security officers from the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS).

Yasser Elsir Ali, 57, sustained serious injuries at a protest in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan. A bullet fractured his ribs, punctured a lung, and lodged in his spinal cord.  After being stabilized in hospital, Yasser was due to travel to the United Arab Emirates for specialized spinal treatment but was arrested by NISS officers on 5 January. His whereabouts remain unknown.

“The Sudanese authorities must immediately release Yasser Elsir Ali and allow him to go for treatment. His life is in jeopardy and he needs urgent specialized medical attention,” said Sarah Jackson.

“They must also immediately and unconditionally release those people who have been arrested simply for peacefully protesting. It is not a crime to call for a better standard of living.”

Sudan: 37 protesters dead in government crackdown on demonstrations  

24 December 2018, 21:02 UTC

Amnesty International has credible reports that 37 protesters have been shot dead by the security forces in five days of anti-government demonstrations that have rocked the country.

“With further protest planned tomorrow, the fact that the security forces are using lethal force so indiscriminately against unarmed protesters is extremely troubling,” said Sarah Jackson, Amnesty International’s deputy director for East Africa, the Great Lakes and the Horn.

“With dozens already dead, the government must rein in this deadly use of force and prevent more unnecessary bloodshed. Instead of trying to stop people from demonstrating, the authorities should be focusing on ending longstanding repression of human rights and resolving the economic crisis that have collectively precipitated these protests.”


Background

For further information see https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2018/12/sudan-shooting-of-protestors-must-be-immediately-investigated/

Sudan: Shooting of protestors must be immediately investigated

21 December 2018, 16:51 UTC                      

In response to security officers opening fire on protestors in Sudan leaving at least nine people dead, five of whom were students, and dozens more injured over the past two days, Seif Magango, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes, said:        

“These killings must stop. Opening fire on unarmed protesters cannot be justified and what is clearly needed now is an independent, efficient investigation into these events. All those responsible for unnecessary or excessive use of force, including those with command responsibility, must be brought to justice.”

“The government must also immediately and unconditionally release all those arrested for peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression, association and assembly.”

The government must address the root cause of the rapidly deteriorating economic conditions in the country instead of trying to prevent people from fully exercising their right to protest against the growing hardships they are facing.


Background

Sudan is currently experiencing a severe economic crisis which has led to a rise in the cost of fuel, electricity, transport, food and medicine provoking countrywide protests. Since 14 December, tens of thousands of people have been taking part in protests in different parts of the country including in Wad Madani, Port Sudan, Gebeit, Al-Qadarif, Atbara, Berber, Dongla, Karima, Al-Damazin, Al Obeid, Al Fasher, Khartoum and Omdurman. Security officers on Wednesday and Thursday shot at protestors to disperse them killing six people in Al Qadarif, one in Berber and two in Karima. The government has also shut down the internet since 20 December, in yet another attempt to stop the protests. 

 

Die Situation der Todesstrafe in Südsudan

Das Land hat in diesem Jahr schon mehr Hinrichtungen durchgeführt als in jedem anderen Jahr seit seiner Unabhängigkeit im Juli 2011. Von sieben Personen ist bekannt, dass sie von Januar bis Ende Oktober 2018 am Galgen endeten, darunter auch ein Jugendlicher.

Amnesty international fürchtet um das Leben von weiteren 135 Gefangenen, die im Laufe dieses Jahres aus anderen Gefängnissen im ganzen Land zu zwei Hafteinrichtungen verbracht wurden, die für die Vollstreckung von Todesurteilen berüchtigt sind.

 

Hintergrund
Das Strafgesetzbuch Südsudans sieht die Anwendung der Todesstrafe für Mord vor. Führt eine bewusste Falschaussage zur Hinrichtung einer unschuldigen Person, kann derjenige, der dies verursacht hat, ebenfalls mit dem Tode bestraft werden. Unter Todesstrafe stehen ferner Terrorismus, Banditentum, Aufstand oder Sabotage, wenn dabei eine Person zu Tode kommt. Des Weiteren kann ein besonders schwerer Fall von Drogenhandel sowie Regierungsumsturz und Hochverrat mit dem Tode bestraft werden.

Die Strafprozessordnung sieht vor, dass Todesurteile durch den Strang vollstreckt werden. Bevor eine zum Tode verurteilte Person hingerichtet werden kann, müssen der Oberste Gerichtshof und der Präsident das Todesurteil bestätigen.

 

Mehr über die Anwendung der Todesstrafe in Südsudan können Sie auf der Seite der Koordinationsgruppe gegen die Todesstrafe lesen oder in diesem englischsprachigen Bericht.

Sudan: Brutal beating that led to hospitalization of imprisoned student must be investigated

11 October 2018, 18:41 UTC

 

The brutal beating of 24-year-old student activist Asim Omar Hassan by prison guards in Kober prison must be independently and thoroughly investigated and those responsible brought to justice, Amnesty International said today as he was admitted to hospital.

Asim Omar was repeatedly beaten with blunt instruments and whipped across his chest until he fainted. He was unable to appear in court because of his injuries.               

According to his lawyers, on 3 October – just days before he was due in court for the hearing of his case, now under re-trial – Asim Omar was repeatedly beaten with blunt instruments and whipped across his chest until he fainted. He was unable to appear in court because of his injuries, prompting the court to order his hospitalization.

“This young man has already suffered enormously at the hands of the politically compromised justice system in Sudan. He has been in detention for more than two years, held in at least three different detention centres, where he was severely beaten and subjected to other torture during interrogations,” said Joan Nyanyuki, Amnesty International’s Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

Asim Omar was arrested on 2 May 2016 and accused of killing a police officer during protests at the University of Khartoum the previous month. He pleaded not guilty but was convicted and sentenced to death on 24 September 2017.

He has been in detention for more than two years, held in at least three different detention centres, where he was severely beaten and subjected to other torture during interrogations.        

However, Sudan’s Supreme Court overturned the conviction on appeal, rescinded the death penalty and ordered a re-trial on grounds including the fact that key witnesses were prevented from testifying and the prosecution was seen in open court providing its witnesses with answers.

“The Sudan authorities must do everything they can to ensure Asim Omar is safe and gets a fair trial following the overturning of his conviction and death sentence just a couple of months ago. He must not be subjected to any further torture or any other ill-treatment, harassment or intimidation,” said Joan Nyanyuki.

“His family and lawyers must also be allowed full access to him to ensure the second trial is free and fair.”

Sudan: Five years on, no justice for 185 protesters shot dead by security forces

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
PRESS RELEASE

09 October 2018

The Sudanese authorities are yet to bring  to justice a single person for the killing of at least 185 people who were shot either in the head, chest or back by Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) and the police during the country’s infamous September 2013 protests on the high cost of living, Amnesty International said today in a statement to the UN Human Rights Committee.

“Without a single conviction five years on, it is clear that the investigations have either been woefully inadequate, or there is a cover-up to protect the officers deployed to quell the protests. This points to deeply ingrained impunity in Sudan,” said Joan Nyanyuki, Amnesty International’s Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

The government claims it established three State Commissions of Inquiry to investigate the September 2013 protest killings, but the findings have not been made public, and no one suspected to be responsible has been brought to justice for the killings.

“The families of all those killed are still waiting helplessly for truth, justice and reparations. So far only one suspect has been brought to court and charged – their case was dismissed and the suspect freed,” said Joan Nyanyuki.

Amnesty International and the African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS) published a report documenting excessive and deadly use of force during the protests. As well as 185 deaths, hundreds more were injured and about 800 people arbitrarily arrested, held for weeks, tortured and subjected to other ill-treatment.

“When we critically look at Sudan’s human rights record in the past four years, we see limited progress. Whether it’s university students, journalists, human rights defenders or minority groups such as the Darfuris – all have experienced first-hand the ugly unrelenting force of repression in Sudan,” said Joan Nyanyuki.

Amnesty International calls on Sudan to ensure that human rights defenders, journalists and other civil society activists can carry out their human rights activities without intimidation, hindrance, harassment or reprisals.

 

Background

Today the United Nations Human Rights Committee will perform a fifth review of the human rights record of Sudan, focused on the country’s implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Amnesty International made a submission in September 2018, which is under consideration today.

 

 

South Sudan: Juba prison revolt underscores deep problems in justice system

7 October 2018, 11:58 UTC

Responding to a revolt in the Blue House National Security Service (NSS) detention facility in South Sudan’s capital Juba overnight, Sarah Jackson, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes said:

“South Sudanese authorities should urgently de-escalate the situation at the notorious Blue House detention facility, where prolonged incommunicado detention, torture and deaths in custody are rife.”                                                            

“Independent observers should be able to monitor any intervention by authorities to help prevent the use of excessive force or other human rights violations. Any use of force must be a last resort and in strict compliance with international law. The right to life and personal security of everyone, including prison guards and bystanders, must be respected.”

“The Blue House revolt points to deep problems within South Sudan’s justice system. President Salva Kiir should keep his promise to release detainees unless they are charged with a recognizable criminal offence. Concerted action is needed to improve the dire conditions in detention.”

 

Südsudan: Regierungstruppen und Milizen verüben ungehindert neue Gräueltaten

Kurzbericht von Amnesty International dokumentiert die Brutalität der jüngsten Militäroffensive im Südsudan.


BERLIN, 18.09.2018
– Tödliche Angriffe auf Zivilisten, systematische Vergewaltigung von Frauen und Mädchen sowie massive Plünderungen und Zerstörungen: Ein neuer Kurzbericht von Amnesty dokumentiert die Brutalität der jüngsten Militäroffensive im Bundessstaat Unity im Südsudan. Eine der Hauptgründe für diese schweren Menschenrechtsverletzungen ist die fehlende Aufarbeitung früherer Verbrechen: Mutmaßliche Kriegsverbrecher wurde in der Vergangenheit nicht zur Rechenschaft gezogen, Amnesty geht davon aus, dass diese neue Welle der Gewalt hätte verhindert werden können. „‘Anything that was breathing was killed’: War crimes in Leer and Mayendit, South Sudan“ basiert auf den Aussagen von etwa 100 Zivilisten, die zwischen Ende April und Anfang Juli diesen Jahres vor einer Offensive von Regierungstruppen und verbündeten Jugendmilizen im südlichen Bundesstaat Unity geflohen sind.

Die jüngste Welle der Gewalt dauerte von Ende April bis Anfang Juli – eine Woche nachdem der letzte Waffenstillstand am 27. Juni ausgehandelt worden war. Die Angriffe richteten sich gezielt gegen Zivilisten, darunter Frauen, Kinder, ältere Menschen und Menschen mit Behinderungen. Während viele durch Gewehrfeuer getötet wurden, wurden andere in ihren Häusern lebendig verbrannt, an Bäumen aufgehängt oder mit gepanzerten Fahrzeugen überfahren. Die Angreifer vergewaltigten systematisch Frauen und Mädchen. „Das Ausmaß und der gezielte Charakter der jüngsten Menschenrechtsverletzungen durch Regierungstruppen und verbündete Milizen im Bundesstaat Unity sind alarmierend“, sagt Katja Müller-Fahlbusch, Afrika-Expertin bei Amnesty International in Deutschland. „Selbst zwei- bis dreijährige Kinder wurden erschlagen.“

Es ist nicht das erste Mal, dass Teile der Gebiete Leer und Mayendit Ziele von militärischen Operationen durch  Regierungstruppen und ihre alliierten Milizen wurden. Der Unity-Bundesstaat  war Zeuge der brutalsten Gewalt seit Beginn des Konflikts im Südsudan vor fast fünf Jahren. Während Regierungsoffensiven in den Jahren 2014 und 2015 kam es bereits zu Gräueltaten. „Diese wiederholten Angriffe auf Zivilisten zeigen das ganze Ausmaß des Straflosigkeitsproblems im Südsudan: Die Regierung hat es immer wieder versäumt, frühere Verstöße aufzuarbeiten und die Verantwortlichen zur Rechenschaft zu ziehen“, sagt Müller-Fahlbusch. „Der mangelnde politische Wille der südsudanesischen Regierung, diese Straflosigkeit zu beenden, hat entscheidend zu den jüngsten Gewalttaten beigetragen.“

Bereits 2016 dokumentierte Amnesty International Militäroffensiven im Bundesstaat Unity. Amnesty identifizierte vier Personen, die verdächtig waren, für Kriegsverbrechen und Verbrechen gegen die Menschlichkeit verantwortlich zu sein. Die Organisation forderte den damaligen Stabschef der südsudanesischen Streitkräfte Paul Malong auf, Untersuchungen einzuleiten. Bis heute gab es keine Reaktion darauf. Jüngste UN-Berichte deuten darauf hin, dass einige dieser Personen auch an den Gräueltaten während der Offensive 2018 beteiligt gewesen sein könnten.

„Nur ein Ende der weitverbreiteten Straflosigkeit kann die fatale Spirale der Gewalt stoppen“, so Afrika-Expertin Müller-Fahlbusch. Die südsudanesische Regierung muss ihrer Verantwortung für den Schutz der Zivilbevölkerung nachkommen und dafür Sorge tragen, dass die Täter für ihre schrecklichen Verbrechen zur Verantwortung gezogen werden. Amnesty International fordert auch den Sicherheitsrat der Vereinten Nationen dazu auf, eine Sondersitzung zur Lage im Südsudan einzuberufen und das im Juli 2018 verhängte Waffenembargo  durchzusetzen.

Hier gibt es den Originalreport.