Sudan: Release of Students Who Were Subjected to Arbitrary Arrest, Incommunicado Detention and Severe Ill-Treatment
On 19 June 2016, after a month and a half of incommunicado detention, Sudanese students Mai Adil Ibrahim Mohamed and Wifag Mohamed Gourashi Al Tayib were released by the authorities. They had been arrested on 5 May 2016 by officers of the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS), while gathering at Lawyer Nabil Adib's law firm in Khartoum.
These two students, amongst others, were arbitrarily arrested by officers dressed in civilian clothes at Nabil Adib's law firm in the capital on 5 May 2016, while consulting the law firm to fight the unjust decision of being suspended from their studies for a period of two years. This came in the aftermath of students peacefully protesting at the end of April 2016 at Khartoum University campus against the authorities' decision to lease out some of the university's buildings for tourism-related purposes. Upon their arrest on 5 May 2016, no arrest or search warrant was shown and students were threatened and beaten up by NISS forces and were finally arbitrarily arrested and brought to unknown NISS facilities. The students were kept in secret and incommunicado detention during the entire period of custody under the provisions of the National Security Act of 2010; they were equally exposed to severe beatings during arrest and detention.
As a result of these disappearances, Alkarama and the Arab Coalition for Sudan (ACS) wrote to the UN Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) to urgently express their concern over the fate of these students and asking for urgent interventions to ask the Sudanese authorities to locate them.
Albeit welcoming the release of some of the students, Alkarama and ACS remain deeply concerned over the recent crackdown on peaceful protesters, the incommunicado detention of several students and the physical attacks they faced. Furthermore, and despite having been freed, students are still facing dismissal from university as a result of demonstrations. Therefore, Alkarama and ACS call again upon the Sudanese authorities to release the entire group of students that were arrested for peacefully demonstrating in April 2016, some of whom remain still detained to date.
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