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Youseif Yagoub Ahmed

Darfur Human Rights Monitors

Youseif Yagoub Ahmed, 35 years old, was a human rights defender, a graduate of Al Neelain University, a member of the Darfur Human Rights Monitors network, and he worked with World Concern in West Darfur. World Concern is a Christian relief and development organization working in the poorest and most remote areas.

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.