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ATTORNEY URGENT ALERT

 

SUDAN

 

8 December 2009

 

They were posting fliers

urging lawyers

to renew their membership

at the Bar Association

and pay the related fees in order to be entitled to vote at the next Bar Association elections.

Three lawyers

Butheina Omar Al Sadiq,   Randa Yousif and   Nafisa Al-Nur Hajar were arrested at the Al Kalakla Court complex in Khartoum,  

The government of Sudan should not interfere with peaceful political organizing of free and fair elections  of the Sudan Bar Association .

 

Source :  FIDH & African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies

 

 

 

 

On Tuesday 8 December, at the Al Kalakla court complex in Khartoum, three lawyers, Butheina Omar Al Sadiq,   Randa Yousif and   Nafisa Al-Nur Hajar, were arrested. Initially the three were arrested for posting fliers on behalf of the Sudan Lawyers Democratic Front calling on lawyers to obtain certification and pay membership fees in order to vote in elections to be held in January 2010 by the Sudan Bar Association. A judge named Bashir Rahama ordered the arrest. The women were arrested by the police and interrogated, but released the same day without being charged.

 

Immediately upon their release, an NISS car stopped them outside the police station and re-arrested them, taking them to the NISS office in the Abuadam area in Al Kalakla district, where the women remained in custody without access to their lawyers and families as of issuing this urgent appeal.


Background

Elections for the Sudan Bar Association are scheduled to be held in January 2010. The previous elections of the Sudan Bar Association were held in January 2006 and pitted the National Congress Party, represented by Fathi Khalil, against the Democratic Alliance, a coalition including the Sudan Lawyers Democratic Front and headed by Amin Mekki Medani. The National Congress Party won amid allegations of rigging.

The results of the election were appealed in the courts by the Democratic Alliance alleging corruption and fraud. This submission was accepted by the Constitutional Court, but to date no decision in the case has been rendered.

The results of the election were challenged before the courts following allegations of corruption and fraud. The Constitutional Court accepted the referral, but no decision has been issued as to date. Ms. Butheina Omar Al Sadiq, Ms. Randa Yousif and Ms. Nafisa Al-Nur Haja’s arrests may therefore seen as aiming at obstructing the holding of fair, transparent and pluralist elections at the Bar Association in January 2010, thereby undermining the independence of the Bar Association.

 

PLEASE CALL  UPON THE SUDANESE AUTHORITIES TO RELEASE

Butheina Omar Al Sadiq,   Randa Yousif and   Nafisa Al-Nur Hajar

IMMEDIATELY AND UNCONDITIONALLY.

 

 

ACTIONS REQUIRED:

Please write to the Sudan authorities urging them to:

  1. Guarantee the physical and psychological integrity of Ms. Butheina Omar Al Sadiq, Ms. Randa Yousif and Ms. Nafisa Al-Nur Hajar;
  2. Release them immediately and unconditionally since their detention is arbitrary as it only aims at sanctioning their human rights activities;
  3. allow the women access to their lawyers and families, and to expeditiously either charge them with an internationally recognised criminal offence or release them.
  4. Put an end to any acts of harassment, including at the judicial level, against Ms. Butheina Omar Al Sadiq, Ms. Randa Yousif and Ms. Nafisa Al-Nur Hajar and more generally against all human rights defenders in Sudan;
  5. Cease interference with the holding of free and fair elections at the level of the Sudan Bar Association.
  6. 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 thateveryone 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 its Article 12.2, which states 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”;
  7. Ensure in all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international human rights standards and international instruments ratified by Sudan.
  8.  

ADDRESSES :

 

  • Mr. President Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir, Office of the President, People’s Palace, PO Box 281, Khartoum, Sudan, Fax: + 249 183 783223
  • Mr. Salva Kiir Mayardit, First Vice-President, People’s Palace, PO Box 281, Khartoum, Sudan, Fax: + 249 183 771025
  • Mr. Ali Osman Mohamed Taha, Vice-President, People’s Palace, PO Box 281, Khartoum, Sudan; Fax: + 249 183 771025
  • Mr. Abdel Bassit Sabdarat, Minister of Justice, Ministry of Justice, PO Box 302, Khartoum, Sudan; Fax: 249 183 764 168 / +249 183 770 883; Email: moj@moj.gov.sd
  • Mr. Deng Alor, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs/External Relations, PO Box 873, Khartoum, Sudan, Fax: 249183772941
  • Mr. Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamed, Minister of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Interior, PO Box 873, Khartoum, Sudan, Fax: +249 183 779383 / +249 183 776 554; Email: ministry@mfa.gov.sd
  • Dr Abdelmuneim Osman Mohamed Taha, Advisory Council for Human Rights, Rapporteur, PO Box 302, Khartoum, Sudan, Fax: +249 183 77 08 83
  • Dr Priscilla Joseph, Chair of the Human Rights Committee, National Assembly, Omdurman, Sudan, Fax: +249 187 560 950

 

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