Mudawi Ibrahim Adam Detained
On 7 December, Dr Mudawi Ibrahim Adam and his driver Mr Adam El-Sheikh were arrested and forcibly transferred to an unknown location. Following the arrest, several officials of the Sudanese National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) conducted a search of Mudawi Ibrahim Adam’s house. Dr Mudawi's disappearance and arrest follow weeks of intimidation by state security forces.
Dr. Mudawi Ibrahim Adam is a Sudanese human rights defender and engineer known for his role in exposing human rights violations in Darfur. He is the founder and former director of the Sudan Social Development Organization (SUDO), which works on human rights as well as water, sanitation and health. He has repeatedly been jailed for charges related to his human rights work. In recognition of his perseverence in promoting and defending human rights in Sudan, Dr. Mudawi Ibrahim Adam received the inaugural Front Line Defenders Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk in 2005.
As of 12 January 2017, Dr. Mudawi Ibrahim Adam and his colleagues have spent over one month detained in an unknown location by Sudanese authorities and are increasingly at risk of torture and ill-treatment. On 5 January 2017, a vigil took place in support of the human rights defender and his colleagues. The vigil was organised by the families and supporters of Sudanese detainees in front of the headquarters of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) in Khartoum. The vigil was dispersed by police and the daughter of Dr. Mudawi Ibrahim Adam and several of his relatives, along with a number of university students, were detained by Sudanese security forces.. The detainees were released later that day, except for one student who was held in detention overnight.
Dr Mudawi Ibrahim Adam is an internationally recognised human rights defender who was the winner of the inaugural 2005 Front Line Defenders Award for human rights defenders. He is the founder and Chairperson of the Sudan Social Development Organization (SUDO). Dr Mudawi Ibrahim Adam was a participant in the national dialogue in Sudan in 2016. The human rights defender holds a PhD in Mechanical Engineering, is a Professor of Engineering at the University of Khartoum and runs his own engineering company.
On 7 December 2016, Dr Mudawi Ibrahim Adam and his longtime driver Mr Adam El-Sheikh were arrested on the University of Khartoum campus and forcibly transferred to an unknown location. On 12 December, Ms Nora Abaid, an accountant from Dr. Mudawi’s engineering company, Lambda Engineering, was arrested by NISS agents who approached her in an unmarked car. They all continue to be detained incommunicado. Under the 2010 National Security Act (NSA), detainees can be held in custody for up to four and a half months without judicial review.
Front Line Defenders is seriously concerned for the physical well-being of Dr. Mudawi Ibrahim Adam, his colleagues and other human rights defenders in detention amid recent testimonies and reports about torture and ill-treatment of detained activists in Sudan. Front Line Defenders calls upon the Sudanese authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Dr. Mudawi Ibrahim Adam and his colleagues. Front Line Defenders also expresses its concern at the increased use of arbitrary detention by the NISS as a tool for the repression of the work of human rights defenders in Sudan.
On 7 December, Dr Mudawi Ibrahim Adam and his driver Mr Adam El-Sheikh were arrested and forcibly transferred to an unknown location. Following the arrest, several officials of the Sudanese National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) conducted a search of Mudawi Ibrahim Adam’s house.
Dr. Mudawi Ibrahim Adam is an internationally recognised human rights defender who was the winner of the inaugural 2005 Front Line Defenders Award for human rights defenders. He is the founder and Chairperson of the Sudan Social Development Organization (SUDO). The organisation was closed down in 2009 and has not been permitted to resume its activities in spite of winning a court action against its closure. Since its establishment in 2001, SUDO successfully implemented various human rights advocacy projects as well as water, sanitation and health projects in southern Blue Nile, which is one of the most deprived areas in the country. SUDO also engaged in humanitarian activities including providing emergency services in North, South and West Darfur as well as in human rights education and development projects throughout the country. Mudawi Ibrahim Adam was a participant in the national dialogue in Sudan in 2016. The human rights defender holds a PhD in Mechanical Engineering, is a Professor of Engineering at the University of Khartoum and runs his own engineering company.
As of 8 December, the whereabouts of Mudawi Ibrahim Adam and driver Adam El-Sheikh are still unknown.
On 7 December, at around 3.00pm, Dr Mudawi Ibrahim Adam and his driver Adam El-Sheikh were arrested and forcibly transferred to an unknown location from the University of Khartoum campus. Officials from the Sudanese NISS brought Adam El-Sheikh along for a search of Mudawi Ibrahim Adam’s house. The house was searched thoroughly but nothing was confiscated. There are grave concerns that Adam El-Sheikh may be at serious risk of torture or ill-treatment for the purposes of collecting information about Mudawi Ibrahim Adam.
Human rights defenders in Sudan are frequently subjected to harassment and arbitrary, secret detention by the security forces. Mudawi Ibrahim Adam has previously been targeted by the Sudanese authorities and repeatedly arbitrarily detained by the security forces and kept in incommunicado detention. The human rights defender was imprisoned twice in 2005. In 2004, Mudawi Ibrahim Adam spent seven months in police custody, having been charged, in connection with his human rights work, of committing offences against the state. Following the hearing of his trial on 7 August 2004, all charges against the human rights defender were dropped and he was released.
Front Line Defenders expresses its grave concern at the arrest and detention of Mudawi Ibrahim Adam and Adam El-Sheikh and is deeply worried about their physical integrity, particularly given the pattern of ill-treatment and torture of activists whilst detained in Sudan. It also expresses its concern at the increased use of arbitrary detention by the NISS as a tool for the repression of the work of human rights defenders in Sudan.
Front Line Defenders urges the authorities in the Republic of the Sudan to:
1. Immediately and unconditionally release Mudawi Ibrahim Adam and Adam El-Sheikh as Front Line Defenders believes that they are being held solely as a result of Mudawi Ibrahim Adam’s legitimate and peaceful work in the defence of human rights;
2. Take all necessary measures to guarantee the physical and psychological integrity and security of Mudawi Ibrahim Adam and Adam El-Sheikh;
3. Ensure that Mudawi Ibrahim Adam and Adam El-Sheikh have immediate and unfettered access to their families and lawyers;
4. Ensure that the treatment of Mudawi Ibrahim Adam and Adam El-Sheikh , 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;
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.
Human rights defender Dr Mudawi Ibrahim Adam, Chairperson of the Sudan Social Development Organization (SUDO) and winner of the 2005 Front Line Award, has been imprisoned in Sudan. Dr Mudawi had been summoned to the court in Khartoum on the morning of 22nd December 2010. Dr Mudawi had previously been charged by the authorities with financial mismanagement but the prosecution was unable to bring any evidence against him and the judge acquitted him. The Sudanese authorities ordered the same judge to make a new judgement on 22nd December. There was no new evidence presented and no judicial process but the judge announced that Dr Mudawi was now convicted and sentenced to one-year in prison and a fine of 3,000 Sudanese Pounds.
On 5 March 2009, SUDO received a notification by the Humanitarian Assistance Committee (HAC) that the organisation had been closed down, and the security forces subsequently surrounded SUDO headquarters. These actions were part of the crackdown by the Sudanese authorities against human rights defenders, following the request by the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor of an arrest warrant against the Sudanese President, Omar al-Bashir. Dr Mudawi and SUDO have successfully appealed against the closure of SUDO through the courts. On 21 April 2010 Judge Khalid Abdul-Qader Saleh ruled that the General Commissioner of the Humanitarian Assistance Commission had no legal authority to dissolve societies, and hence the order to dissolve SUDO was overturned. However, it has not so far been possible to implement this decision.
Dr Mudawi was imprisoned on three separate occasions for a total of over 18 months in 2003-2005. He was the winner of the inaugural Front Line Award for Human Rights Defenders at risk in 2005.
Front Line considers that Dr Mudawi Ibrahim Adam is being imprisoned arbitrarily, without even the pretence of a fair legal process, because of his peaceful activities in defence of human rights in Sudan.
Front Line urges the authorities of Sudan to:
1. Immediately and unconditionally release Dr Mudawi Ibrahim Adam as Front Line believes his imprisonment is solely motivated by his legitimate work in defence of human rights;
2. Ensure that the treatment of Dr Mudawi Ibrahim Adam, while in detention, adheres to all those conditions set out in the 'Basic Principles for Treatment of Prisoners, adopted by the General Assembly resolution 45/111 of 14 December 1990';
3. Ensure that all human rights defenders in Sudan, carrying out their legitimate work in the defence of human rights, are able to operate free of restrictions and reprisals, including judicial harassment.
Front Line is deeply concerned following the closure of the Sudan Social Development Organisation (SUDO) and information on the imminent arrest of Dr Ibrahim Adam Mudawi. Ibrahim Mudawi is the Chairperson of SUDO and one of the most prominent human rights defenders in Sudan. He was awarded the inaugural Front Line Award in 2005.
On 5 March 2009, SUDO received a notification by the Humanitarian Assistance Committee (HAC) that the organisation had been closed down, and the security forces subsequently surrounded SUDO headquarters. On the same day, Ibrahim Mudawi has been warned of his imminent arrest and advised to leave immediately.
One day earlier, on 4 March 2009, SUDO office in Nyala was raided by the security forces and computers and documents were confiscated. This followed a similar raid against SUDO office in Zalingei. On 3 March 2009, Ibrahim Mudawi was notified of a court case filed against him by HAC for alleged embezzlement of 40,000 USD from SUDO in 2004.
These repeated attacks against Ibrahim Mudawi and SUDO form part of the crackdown by the Sudanese authorities against human rights defenders, following the request by the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor of an arrest warrant against the Sudanese President, Omar al-Bashir, in July 2008. The crackdown has intensified in the last few weeks as the decision by the ICC on the request approached. The ICC has issued the arrest warrant against Omar al-Bashir on 4 March 2009.
Front Line also issued an urgent appeal on the closure of the Khartoum Centre for Human Rights and Environmental Developments (KCHRED) and the freezing of its accounts.
Front Line condemns the closure of SUDO and the threats of arrest of Ibrahim Mudawi as solely motivated by their work in the defense of human rights. Front Line is deeply concerned at the escalation of attacks against human rights defenders in Sudan.
Front Line urges the authorities of Sudan to:
1. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Ibrahim Mudawi;
2. Repeal the closure order against the Sudan Social Development Organisation and drop the accusations pending against Ibrahim Mudawi;
3. Cease any act of harassment against the Sudan Social Development Organisation and its members;
4. Ensure that all human rights defenders in Sudan, carrying out their legitimate work in the defence of human rights, are able to operate free of restrictions and reprisals.
Front Line Defenders expresses its serious concern over reports of the shutting down of two offices of the Sudan Social Development Organization (SUDO) in Zallingei and Geneina in West Darfur.
According to the information received, on 11 March 2006, the Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) in West Darfur, the Government agency overseeing all humanitarian organisations in that State, issued a formal notice to the directors of the two SUDO offices, ordering the suspension of all activities within the province of west Darfur. The order comes following controversial amendments to legislation affecting non-governmental organisations, passed under the “Organisation of Humanitarian and Voluntary Work Act” by parliamentary majority on 20 February 2006. It is the first time that this Act has been invoked, although it is not yet been signed by the president.
Furthermore, in a separate letter from the HAC in Zalingei dated 11 March 2006, further instructions were given for the suspension of activities and seizure of assets, citing the new legislation. The directors of SUDO's Zallingei and Geneina offices were ordered to hand over all the assets of the organisation including cars and two motorcycles; close down the health centre, nutrition centre and food distribution unit; hand over the keys and all stationeries belonging to the organisation and produce a full report on the income and expenditure of the organisation.
It has also been reported that, on the same day, the HAC sent a letter to the Agricultural Bank ordering the bank to close SUDO's west Darfur office account and cease all transactions from 13 March 2006.
SUDO’s Zallingei office was previously closed in January 2006, but was reopened following negotiations and the intervention of the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs. The HAC stipulated that they were allowed to continue if they did not work in “social and protection activities”, and were only allowed to carry out programmes which concerned health, education and water and agriculture. It is clear that the HAC has shut down both offices in order to prevent SUDO from carrying out its peace building and human rights activities in west Darfur and is therefore an arbitrary decision.
Salah Mohammed Abdelrahman, a member of SUDO, is being held in idetention since his arrest with Dr Mudawi by the security forces in Kondoua (North Kordufan) on 24 January 2005. He is reportedly being detained in Kober Prison in Khartoum. He has participated in the implementation of a peace-building project in Southern Darfur.
Mohammed Musa Aldood, is a volunteer with SUDO and was arrested on 4 February 2005 in Khartoum. He went on hunger strike on 10 March 2005. His whereabouts is unknown. Yousif Kabier was detained in November 2004. He has had no access to family or lawyers, and his whereabouts is unknown. He is a member of the General Assembly of SUDO.
Front Line Defenders expresses its deepest concern for the safety of Dr Mudawi, the Chairperson of SUDO, who has been arrested on three occasions over the past 18-months. He was last arrested on Sunday, 8 May 2005 in Khartoum North, together with his colleagues Yasir Saleem, and driver Abdalla Taha, hours before he was due to travel to Ireland to accept the Front Line inaugural award. All three human rights defenders were eventually released, however Dr Mudawi still faces charges (Articles 53 and 57 of the 1991 Criminal Act) of “espionage against the country” and “photographing military areas”. Article 53 carries a potential death penalty or life in prison.
Front Line fears that pattern of repeatedly detaining Dr Mudawi s being effectuated by the Sudanese security forces in order to silence him and prevent him from carrying out human rights activities, which includes such vital work as humanitarian relief in Darfur.
On 8 May 2005, human rights defender Dr Ibrahim Mudawi was arrested before he was due to travel to Ireland, where he was going to receive the Front Line inaugural Human Rights Defender award, on 13 May 2005, from Irish President McAleese. Dr Mudawi was allegedly arrested in Khartoum North with colleague Yasir Saleem, and his driver Abdalla Taha. He was held in the Security Detention offices in Khartoum North.
Front Line understands that he has not been charged, he has yet to be granted visits from family or lawyers and there is concern that he may have been transferred to another location.
Dr. Mudawi has previously been arrested by the Sudanese authorities on two occasions in the past 18 months. On 24 January 2005, Dr Mudawi was arrested by members of Sudan’s National Security and Intelligence Agency in North Kordufan. He was transferred to Khartoum three days later and detained there until 3 March 2005. According to the information received Dr Mudawi was held in Khartoum in a ‘ghost house’, a private house used as a secret detention center.
Dr. Mudawi began a hunger strike on 19 February 2005, asking to be charged or released and to protest against his continued secret detention. He was transferred to hospital 26 February 2005 and was brought before the Attorney General and charged with "attempting to commit suicide" which could carry a one-year's imprisonment under Article 133 of the 1991 Sudan Penal Code. Front Line believes that such a charge suggests that the Sudanese authorities have failed to find any other offence to charge him with.
In 2004, Dr. Mudawi spent seven months in police custody, having been charged, in connection with his human rights work, of committing offences against the state. Following the hearing of his trial on 7 August 2004, all charges against Dr. Mudawi were dropped and he was released.
Front Line fears that the arrest of Dr. Mudawi represents a renewed attempt on behalf of the security forces to silence Dr Mudawi and prevent him from carrying out his human rights activities.
Front Line Defenders is deeply concerned for the safety of three Sudanese human rights defenders and members of the Sudan Social Development Organization (SUDO), Dr Mudawi Ibrahim Adam, Salah Mohamed Abdelrahman and Adeeb Abd Rahman.
At 2 a.m. on 24 January 2005, Dr Mudawi, Chariperson of SUDO, was arrested at his home in Kondua, North Kurdufan, along with a friend, Salah Mohamed Abdelrahman. He was then transferred to a secret location and held in a detention centre commonly known as “ghost house” in the Kober district of Khartoum.
A “ghost house” is a private house that is used as a secret detention centre. While in incommunicado detention, Dr Mudawi was placed in solitary confinement and deprived from natural light. He was denied medical attention, and access to lawyers and family.
On 19 February 2005, Dr. Mudawi went on hunger strike to protest about being held in incommunicado. On 26 February, Dr Mudawi was transferred to a private hospital in Khartoum, where he received medical treatment.
Salah Mohammed Abdelrahman has been held in incommunicado detention since his arrest. It has been reported that Dr. Mudawi last saw Salah Mohammed Abdelrahman on 28 January 2005, when the two men were transferred from security offices in Al-Obied to Khartoum. There is no information about the whereabouts of Salah Mohammed Abdelrahman since that day.
On 8 March 2005, the Advisory Council for Human Rights informed SUDO that Dr Mudawi had been released since 3 March and that they were no charging him.
Front Line understands that the National Security and Intelligence Service may have suspected Dr. Mudawi of establishing an unregistered organization in Kordofan. However, from the information received, it is understood that Dr. Mudawi has in actual fact been accused by the Attorney of Crimes against the State of attempting to commit suicide, under Article 133 of the Criminal Law. Front Line is extremely concerned about these charges and is calling for them to immediately dropped as it is clear that Dr. Mudawi is being persecuted for his human rights work.
In the past, Sudanese authorities have targeted SUDO and its members.
On 20th September 2004, Adeeb Abd Rahman, the manager of SUDO’s regional office in Zalegi, Darfur was arrested in Khartoum. There has been no information about the whereabouts or about Addeb since he was arrested. Front Line is extremely worried for the safety of Adeeb Abd Rahman.
In December 2003, Mudawi was arrested in December at his home, after a visit to Darfur. He was charged with "crimes against the state", with the evidence against him including possession of documents from Amnesty International. This charge carried the possibility of being sentenced to death, but the government dropped its case in August 2004.
Front Line is extremely concerned over the targeting of the three members of SUDO. SUDO is a non-governmental organisation that provides education on human rights in Darfur and provides assistance to Internally Displaced People (IDPs) in Darfur. Front Line is concerned that the members of SUDO are being targeted by the Security Forces due to this work in Darfur.