On 24 November 2008, Sudanese authorities arrested, detained and interrogated three human rights defenders in Khartoum, Mr Amir Mohamed Suliman of the Khartoum Centre for Human Rights and Environmental Development (KCHRED); Mr Abedlmonim Aljak, a Sudanese human rights defender; and Mr Osman Hummaida of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT).

Although the Sudanese authorities did not indicate on which basis the three human rights defenders were detained and questioned, the NSS informed them, during interrogations, that they were conducting an investigation into their link with the investigation being carried out by the International Criminal Court in Darfur.

Mr Osman Hummaida was finally released on 28 November 2008; Mr Amir Mohamed Suliman and Mr Abedlmonim Aljak have also been released on 25 November and 27 November respectively.

Statement by Sergio Stanzani and Gianfranco Dell’Alba, President and Secretary-General of No Peace Without Justice:

“We welcome the release of these three human rights defenders although we remain concerned that they were arrested and detained by the Sudanese authorities, apparently because of their human rights work.  It is deplorable that almost exactly ten years after the adoption of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, its provisions continue to be broken in so many areas of the world, most recently by these actions of the Sudanese authorities.

“No Peace Without Justice continues to call on the Government of Sudan to guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Mr Suliman, Mr Hummaida and Mr Aljak and to end any harassment, against all three targeted defenders, as well as against all Sudanese human rights defenders.

“We also call on the Government of Sudan to comply with all relevant UN Security Council Resolutions, including UNSCR 1593 that referred the situation in Darfur to the International Criminal Court.

“Further, NPWJ continues to call on the United Nations, and particularly the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders, to raise this issue with the Sudanese Government and seek guarantees of non-repetition, and urges the European Union to insist on full implementation of articles 2 and 9 of the ACP-EC Cotonou Agreement, concerning respect for human rights, democratic principles and the rule of law.”

For more information please contact Nicola Giovannini, phone: +32-2-548 39 14 – ngiovannini@npwj.org