Prominent human rights lawyer Dr Amin Mekki Medani, and lawyer and political opposition leader Farouk Abu Issa, remain in detention at an unknown location. The two men were arbitrarily arrested by the Sudanese authorities in early December.
The ICJ calls for their immediate release.
Dr Amin Mekki Medani (photo) was reportedly arrested on 6 December 2014 by the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) at his home in Khartoum, shortly after returning from a meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Farouk Abu Issa was also arrested and detained on his return from the meeting.
In Addis Ababa, the two men had joined with other members of civil society and political opposition groups in adopting a declaration calling for the end of armed conflicts and for democracy in Sudan (“Sudan Call”).
At the time of his arrest, Dr Amin Meddi Medani was reportedly not provided with any warrant, nor any information about the reasons for his arrest.
The ICJ does not have specific information about the situation of Farouk Abu Issa’s arrest.
The circumstances of the arrests strongly suggest that the two men were targeted for their political opinions and exercising their rights of freedom of expression and association.
Lawyers representing the two men stated that they had not been allowed to meet with them.
The arrests and detentions appear to violate Sudan’s international legal obligations under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), as well as other global and regional standards.
Matt Pollard, Head of the ICJ Centre for Independence of Judges and Lawyers, t: +41 79 246 54 75; e: matt.pollard(a)icj.org
Additional information :
The United Nations Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers, and the Principles and Guidelines on the right to fair trial and legal assistance in Africa adopted by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, affirm that lawyers, like any other individual, must be guaranteed the rights to freedom of expression, belief, association and assembly.
The ICCPR, African Charter, and other international standards also prohibit arbitrary arrest or detention. Arrest or detention based solely on the exercise of protected freedom of expression, belief, association or assembly is inherently arbitrary. Whatever the grounds for arrest or detention, a failure to provide procedural safeguards to detainees, or to allow detainees to receive visits from lawyers and family members, also violates the right to liberty and other human rights.