Sudan: Abduction by Security Forces of Prominent Human Rights Defender

Mudawi Ibrahim Adam Mudawi

On 7 December 2016, Mudawi Ibrahim Adam Mudawi, a prominent Sudanese human rights defender, was abducted by members of the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) at Khartoum University. Disappeared ever since, on 21 December 2016, Alkarama and the Arab Coalition for Sudan (ACS) wrote to the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) in the hope that it will help shed light on his fate and whereabouts.

On 7 December 2016, Mudawi Ibrahim Adam Mudawi – who is also professor at the University of Khartoum, Faculty of Engineering – was chatting with some of his students in the parking lot of the university campus, when NISS agents approached him and asked him to follow them. Without showing any arrest warrant nor explaining the reasons, they abducted him together with his driver and left for an unknown location. His driver, who was later released, referred having been subjected to heavy ill-treatment to force him to reveal Dr Mudawi’s address, which was raided shortly after by the NISS. They broke in without any search warrant and searched the house confiscating materials.

Dr Mudawi remains disappeared to date and Sudanese authorities have so far refused to provide information as to his fate and whereabouts, claiming that he is not held in their facilities. Unofficial reports, however, maintain that he might be detained at the Kober central prison in Khartoum, in the NISS section. Albeit his family’s efforts to try to locate him, no official answer has been given by the Sudanese authorities as to the reasons for his abduction and the charges brought against him. His family believes that his abduction is a reprisal for his work as a human rights defender and that the authorities are trying to link his case with the recent social unrest and civil disobedience movement shaking the country. Such events, which have been occurring in the past weeks, have already been triggering harsh and massive-scale State repression vis-à-vis political opponents and human rights activists, as reported by Alkarama.

“We are extremely worried about Dr Mudawi’s fate,said Simone Di Stefano, Alkarama's Regional Legal Officer on the Nile. “The Sudanese authorities should be held accountable of such practices of repression against human rights defenders, which violate Sudan’s obligations under international human rights law”.

As a result of this, on 21 December 2016, Alkarama and ACS wrote to the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID), a UN mechanism they had already seized following similar arbitrary arrests and consequent disappearances of students in the past. Both organisations solicited the WGEID’s urgent intervention to ask the Sudanese authorities to immediately release him and reveal his fate and whereabouts. Alkarama and ACS believe it is of utmost importance that Dr Mudawi’s family be allowed to visit him, and that he be immediately brought under the protection of the law and that all charges brought against him be dropped.

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