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Khidir Sulieman Abdelmageed

HRD, head

Khidir Sulieman Abdelmageed was a human rights defender and head of the human rights organisation Afkar, which advocates for human rights and democracy and provides services to victims of human rights violations. The organisation also provided free medical support to citizens during the war in Sudan. The human rights defender had also worked with national and international human rights organisation, and was a manager of the Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) in West Darfur. He was killed in El Geneina, West Darfur on 11 June 2023.

The ongoing violence by government forces, pro-government militia groups and anti-government armed group forms the backdrop to continued harassment, arbitrary arrests, incommunicado detentions and alleged torture of human rights defenders (HRDs) by Sudanese military and security forces. Freedom of expression and freedom of association and assembly have been increasingly curtailed. In particular, NGO members, journalists and student activists have been targeted.

Human rights defenders are vulnerable to arbitrary arrest and detention by the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS). The 2010 National Security Act grants the NISS extensive powers to arrest and detain people up to four and a half months without judicial review, and with complete impunity when the detention is arbitrary. Human rights defenders have been held incommunicado, without access to legal representation, and family visits have been refused without reasons. Detained HRDs have been often held in NISS cells that fall outside the jurisdiction of prisons laws and regulations, where they have also suffered ill-treatment and torture.