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Mohammed Adam (17) and Mohammed al-Fatih (18) have been arbitrarily detained by security authorities in Sudan for over a month in connection with the killing of a policeman earlier this year. There are credible concerns the youths were abducted and held without charge, in violation of their due process rights, and subjected to torture while in detention. The Sudanese authorities must release them unless they are charged and remanded by an independent court.
Mohammed Adam (17) and Mohammed al-Fatih (18) were violently arrested on January 14 with five of their friends by a group of plain-clothed security agents as they were leaving a hospital in eastern Khartoum. Mohammed Adam was seeking treatment at the hospital for a gunshot wound in his leg which he had sustained the previous day, on 13 January, during a protest they attended demanding an end to the army’s coup since 25 October 2021. The seven teenage protestors were taken to the Northern Police station in downtown Khartoum, where they were interrogated about their alleged involvement with grassroots youth groups responsible for organizing the 13 January protests. All those arrested were subsequently released, except for Mohammed Adam and Mohammed al-Fatih who remain detained.
Until 20 January, the two were held at an undisclosed location. On 20 January, it was confirmed that they were being held at the premises of the Federal Investigation Department in Khartoum North. For the first three weeks of their detention, they were held incommunicado – without access to their families, lawyer, or a doctor. On 8 February, Mohammed Adam’s mother was allowed to visit him for the first time since his arrest, but he has yet to be seen by a doctor or granted access to his lawyer. He is now on hunger strike in protest of their arbitrary detention. Furthermore, Mohammed Adam and Mohammed al-Fatih have allegedly been tortured by police and security agents in custody. One of the friends who was detained with him reported seeing Mohammed Adam being beaten on his injured leg, and his mother reports that she saw that two nails had been hammered into his legs, which had also been beaten, leaving him unable to walk.
Their arrest is believed, although not confirmed, to be in connection to the killing of a Police Brigadier during the 13 January protests in Khartoum, which it is widely believed the authorities suspect Mohammed Adam and Mohammed al-Fatih of being responsible for, though no evidence to support this has been provided and the two have still not been charged.
Write to the Attorney General urging him to:
- immediately release Mohammed Adam and Mohammed al-Fatih as their detention is arbitrary and in violation of their due process rights
- Pending their release, they must be protected from further torture and other ill-treatment, and granted regular and unfettered access to their lawyers, families and any necessary medical treatment.
- immediately investigate the reports of their torture
Khalifa Ahmad Khalifa
Postal Address: 11111, B.O Box: 302
Republic of Sudan
Salutation: Dear Attorney General:
Mr. Tarig Hassan Sulieman Abusalih
Embassy of the Republic of the Sudan
354 Stewart Street
Ottawa, ON K1N 6K8
Phone: 613 235 4000
Fax: 613 235-6880
Mohammed Adam and Mohammed al-Fatih’s arrests were carried out one day after Sudan’s Ministry of Interior released a brief statement announcing the killing of a Police Brigadier during protests in Khartoum, on 13 January. A longer statement released by the Ministry of Interior on 25 January stated that the victim died from injuries sustained as a result of knife stabbings in his left arm and back when he attempted to control protesters. The statement added that police teams managed to track down the perpetrators, and captured a number of suspects, adding that that eye- witnesses had identified the suspects, who were then interrogated, confessed to stabbing the victim and revealed the whereabouts of the murder weapon. The statement went on to say that all technical legal procedures were observed, the accused re-enacted their actions in the crime scene and their judicial confessions were recorded. Although the police statement did not identify the suspects by name, it is widely believed that it was in reference to Mohammed Adam and Mohammed al-Fatih.
A wave of protests has been sweeping Sudan ever since the country’s army staged a coup in October 2021. In response, security forces engaged in a wide range of repressive and violent tactics, including the unnecessary or excessive use of lethal force and arbitrary detentions, to counter acts of opposition to the coup. To date, security forces have killed 81 people and injured hundreds using live ammunition. Hundreds of political activists and protesters have been arbitrarily detained since the coup, which ended more than two years of an uneasy partnership between military and civilian leaders in a transitional government born out of a power-sharing compromise. The compromise was reached following the ouster by military leaders of long-time authoritarian ruler, Omer al-Bashir in April 2019, which followed months of protests orchestrated by civilian opposition leaders, with active participation of women and youth.
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