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9 February 2017

Human Rights Defender Mudawi Adam Fights for His Freedom

The undersigned 26 organizations from the Middle East and North Africa are concerned for the life of prominent human rights defender Dr. Mudawi Ibrahim Adam, who has been held in prison without charge or trial since December 7, 2016. Although two months have passed since he was detained, the Sudanese authorities have yet to announce the reasons for his arrest. His family has been permitted to visit him only once in the past 50 days, on January 27, 2017. The visit came after Adam staged a hunger strike to protest his detention, the lack of charges against him, his torture and ill treatment, and the denial of medication.

His family announced after the visit that Adam is in poor health and has lost a drastic amount of weight. They reported that he had agreed to suspend his hunger strike for one week to allow the Sudanese authorities to disclose the grounds for his detention and either charge or release him. The authorities disregarded Adam and his family’s pleas to end the arbitrary detention and release him or grant him a fair trial, prompting Adam to resume his hunger strike. The authorities have thus far not responded to his legitimate demands.

The Sudanese authorities’ violations against Mudawi Adam are part of a broad, systematic campaign against human rights defenders in Sudan in recent years.

Numerous defenders have been forced to choose exile over prison, torture, arbitrary detention, and sexual violence. The authorities have also restricted the free operation of civil society, prohibited activists from travel, and falsified charges against them. Several of the most prominent cases have been the detention of prominent human rights defender Amin Mekki Medani, the President of the Confederation of Sudanese Civil Society Organizations, the Vice-President of the Civil Society Initiative, and the former President of the Sudanese Human Rights Observatory, along with Faruq Abu Eisa, the President of the Sudanese Opposition Umbrella Group –National Consensus Forces (NCF), as well as political activist Farah Ibrahim. They were all detained in December 2014 for five months after signing “The Sudan Call,” a declaration on the “Establishment of a State of Citizenship and Democracy.”

In 2005, Mudawi Adam was the recipient of the human rights defender award granted annually by Front Line Defenders to prominent human rights defenders around the world. Adam took part in the Sudanese National Dialogue in 2016 and is the founder and Chairperson of the Sudan Social Development Organization (SUDO); he is also a Professor of Engineering at Khartoum University. Adam has a well-known record of struggle against human rights violations in Darfur. He has been imprisoned several times for his rights activism and defense of victims of the regime’s human rights abuses.

The undersigned organizations condemn, in the strongest terms, Mudawi Adam’s arbitrary detention and the Sudanese authorities’ violation of his right to physical safety and a fair trial. We demand Adam be immediately released or brought to trial in a timely manner, in a due process that meets international standards and allows international observers. We further demand an investigation into allegations that Adam was tortured and mistreated and that the findings be made public. We demand that the Sudanese authorities provide medical care to Adam during his hunger strike and the necessary medical exams as soon as he voluntarily ends his strike.

The undersigned organizations urge the international community to take all necessary steps toward the Sudanese authorities to save the life of human rights defender Mudawi Adam and other peaceful activists and political dissidents languishing in the Sudanese regime’s prisons where they face torture and ill treatment, and are denied a fair trial.


Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies
Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association
Al Nadeem Center for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence
Andalus center for tolerance and nonviolence studies
Association of Tunisian Judges
Belaady Foundation for Human Rights
Defenders Network For Human Rights and Libyan Judges Association
Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights
Egyptian Foundation for Advancement of the Childhood Condition
Freedom of Information and Expression Organization  – Hatim
IRTIKAA Association for Women
Independent National Syndicate of Electricity and Gas Workers in Algeria SNATEG
Independent Organization for Human Rights
Land Center for Human Rights
Lawyers for Justice of Libya
Libyan Organization for Legal Aid
MARATOUS for Citizenship & Human Rights
Moroccan Association for Human Rights AMDH
Moroccan Organisation for Human Rights OMDH
Palestinian Human Rights Oranization
Syrian Center for Legal Researches and Studies
Syrian Network for Human Rights
The Egyptian Association for Community Participation Enhancement
The Libyan Group for the Monitoring of Human Rights Violations
Tomorrow Association of Human Rights
Tunisian Federation for The Citizens of the Two Banks FTCR