Take Action for Adil Bakheit and Khalafalla Alafif Mukhtar
On 18 July 2016, human rights defenders Adil Bakheit and Khalafalla Alafif Mukhtar will both appear before the Khartoum Central Criminal Court. They are charged with seven criminal offences including “waging war against the State”. Khalafalla has been held at the Prosecutor’s Office in Khartoum since 22 May 2016, along with his colleagues Mustafa Adam, Midhat A Hamdan. The charges pertain to a training organised by TRACKS on social responsibility.
Adil Bakheit is a Sudanese human rights defender, member of the Board of Trustees of Sudanese Human Rights Monitor (SHRM), which documents human rights violations in Sudan, provides legal assistance to victims of State abuse and defends minorities in Sudan. Khalafalla Alafif Mukhtar is a Sudanese human rights defender and director of the Khartoum Centre for Training and Human Development (TRACKS), which provides and facilitates training on human rights and information technology, among others.
On 26 March 2015, approximately ten plain-clothed National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) agents raided the premises of TRACKS during the last day of a five day training on “social responsibility and active citizenship”. No search warrant was presented, and computers, laptops and documents belonging to TRACKS were confiscated.
On 16 April 2015, Adil was arrested and charged with “joint acts in the execution of criminal conspiracy, criminal conspiracy, undermining the constitutional system, waging war against the State, calling for opposition to public authority by use of violent or criminal force, publication of false news, and impersonating a public servant”. The offences of waging war against the state and undermining the constitutional system carry the death penalty. On 3 June 2015 he was released on bail. Later in May 2015, Khalafalla was charged with the same above-mentioned offences.
On 29 February 2016, TRACKS was subjected to a second office raid, by NISS officers who again did not produce a warrant. The NISS referred the staff members present to the police station where they were interrogated, verbally abused, ill-treated and threatened.
On 22 May 2016, Khalafalla, Mustafa Adam, Midhat A Hamdan and their colleagues Nudaina Kamal, Arwa Elrabie, Imany-Leyla Raye, Hassan Kheiry, Khuzaini El Hadi, and Al Shazali Ibrahim Al Sheikh, were requested to report to the Prosecutor’s Office for questioning in relation to the raid carried-out on 26 March 2015. Nudaina Kamal was released shortly after her arrest on the same day, Arwa Elrabie and Imany-Leyla Raye were both released on bail on 30 May, Hassan Kheiry, Khuzaini El Hadi and Al Shazali Ibrahim Al Sheikh were released on 7 June. However, Khalafalla, Mustafa Adam and Midhat A Hamdan are still detained at the Prosecutor's office, in a narrow 3x5 metre cell with very low ventilation. Khalafalla's health is reported to be deteriorating rapidly due to a weak heart condition and family visits are only permitted with permission of the Chief Prosecutor, which family members often fail to receive.
I express strong concern for the repeated acts of harassment and intimidation against TRACKS and its members, as well as activists associated with the Centre, and for the charges brought against Adil Bakheit and Khalafalla Alafif Mukhtar, which I believe to be directly motivated by their peaceful and legitimate human rights activities.
I urge the authorities in the Republic of the Sudan to:
1. Immediately drop all charges outstanding against Adil Bakheit and Khalafalla Alafif Mukhtar;
2. Immediately and unconditionally release Khalafalla Alafif Mukhtar, Mustafa Adam and Midhat A Hamdan from detention;
3. Ensure that the treatment of Khalafalla Alafif Mukhtar, Mustafa Adam and Midhat A Hamdan, while in detention, adheres to the conditions set out in the ‘Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment', adopted by UN General Assembly resolution 43/173 of 9 December 1988;
4. Allow the above human rights defenders immediate and unfettered access to their families and lawyers;
5. Guarantee in all circumstances that all human rights defenders in the Republic of the Sudan are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions.