Statements from Dr Mudawi's family
In recent weeks, there have been news and rumours about the release of Dr. Mudawi Ibrahim, Professor of Engineering at the University of Khartoum, who has been in detention since December 7, 2016. We would like to clarify for the people of Sudan, all political parties, civil society, and all individuals and organizations that are following the case that this information is not accurate. It is a part of a deliberate public opinion campaign to prolong the arbitrary detention of Dr. Mudawi Ibrahim, who has been in arbitrary detention for 218 days.
Dr. Mudawi Ibrahim and his colleagues are on trial for numerous serious charges, and torture has been used in attempt to obtain confessions from them. The maximum sentence for these charges is death penalty. We fear that the security forces will fail to attend the hearings in order to prolong the arbitrary detention of Dr. Mudawi and his colleagues, which is illegal.
We express our grave concern over the health of Dr. Mudawi who is currently being held in Kober prison, following multiple transfers between detention centres for two months, and to the state security cells where he was held for approximately four months. On our recent visits, we noticed that he has lost a lot of weight as result of his prolonged detention, which has now lasted longer than seven months.
We also would like to address the Respectful Minister of Justice and Attorney General to put an end to this legal manipulation by the security services in an attempt to prolong the detention of Dr. Mudawi in a manner that shames the judiciary and the court system and enables security apparatus to continue carrying out its violations. We call upon these parties to intervene urgently to expedite the proceedings of the case of Dr. Mudawi and his colleagues, or to release them with fair trial guarantees.
We remind them that Dr. Mudawi Ibrahim is detained by the judicial authorities, making them directly responsible for the violations of his rights.
We invite all interested individuals and observers to attend the upcoming trial session on Thursday, 20 July, in the Northern District Court in Khartoum.
As of today, Saturday, 11 February 2017, Dr Mudawi has spent 62 days in detention.
He was arrested along with his driver Adam Elsheikh, on Wednesday, 7 December 2016, and both were taken to an unknown location. Then Mudawi was transferred to the Kober prison where he remains until now. We were allowed to visit him only twice 50 days after he was arrested.
During our visits, Dr Mudawi looked clearly exhausted from the hunger strike he went on between 22 and 29 January 2017. We convinced him to break the strike so he can stay strong while we, his brothers, friends & acquaintances that care about him, continue to fight for a fair and public trial. He was convinced to break the strike, but these efforts failed and the authorities still have not set a trial date.
So he started a second hunger strike on Thursday, 02 February 2017, which is continuing until today, Saturday 11 February 2017, to protest his detention. Mudawi was questioned only twice near the beginning of his detention and not since. He stated that as a prisoner he has no weapon apart from the hunger strike until he is released or tried according to the State laws.
We have already tried all possible legal methods, contacted several authorities and individuals to work on the release of Dr Mudawi Ibrahim, Nora Obeid and Adam Elsheikh.
We also peacefully protested in front of the Kober prison, NISS office and the Ministry of justice. In addition, with the help of the lawyer Salwa Absham, we filed 4 legal memoranda on 31 January 2017 to the Ministry of Justice and the public prosecutor requesting a visit to Mudawi to ensure compliance with detention regulations, and to inform them that the detainee is on a hunger strike.
A third memorandum was filed to the Human Rights Commission and fourth to the National Council of the Committee on Legislation and Justice and Human Rights.
All these memoranda were filed in the name of the 3 detainees, Mudawi Ibrahim, Nora Obeid and Adam Elsheikh, and none of these authorities replied.
On Thursday, 09 February 2017, we were contacted by NISS and were given permission to see Mudawi. We found him in bad shape, thin and fragile, with his health deteriorating. He told us a doctor visited him just once and only measured his blood pressure while Mudawi was on a week-long hunger strike. The doctor informed him that he had low blood pressure.
Subsequently, Salwa Absam filed a petition to the Minister of Justice and NISS legal department requesting a proper medical examination for Mudawi.
We were also notified that NISS, in an attempt to demonize and criminalize Mudawi's hunger strike, filed a charge of attempted suicide, article 131, at the Ministry of Justice.
We, the family, friends and acquaintances of Dr Mudawi, would like to inform the general public of these facts and updates. We also demand the governmental and judicial apparatus to release Dr Mudawi or put him on public trial immediately. We hold NISS fully accountable for any harm he encounters.
3 February 2017
Dr Mudawi Ibrahim, a human rights defender and professor of engineering at the University of Khartoum, has been detained for 57 days now, since 7 December 2016. He was questioned only twice near the beginning of his detention and not since. So far no legal charges have been presented against him, nor have the reasons for his detention been revealed to him or his family.
“Since his detention, we have only been allowed to visit him once, 50 days after his arrest. This happened after he went on a 6-day hunger strike. The authorities wanted to use our visit to persuade him to stop the hunger strike, and we, as his family, did convince Dr Mudawi to end it after we were shocked by how thin and fragile he had become.
We asked him to give us the a chance to continue our attempts to fast track the investigation into his case, to bring the case to court, and to allow him access to his lawyer.
Dr Mudawi gave in to our request to break the hunger strike, giving the authorities until Wednesday, 1 February, after which he said he wouldf resume his hunger strike on Thursday, 2 February. He sees it as the only weapon he has while in detention. We informed all concerned parties of his decision. We filed petitions to the Legal Department of the Security Service, Ministry of Justice, the Human Rights Commission, and the Committee of Human Rights in the Sudanese parliament requesting that they look into and make a decision on Dr Mudawi's case to either release him or provide him with a fair trial . But we did not get any response from the abovementioned authorities until now.
Thus we, the family of Dr Mudawi, announce that he will be on an open-ended hunger strike until the authorities respond to his legitimate demands. And we hold the national security authorities and decision makers of the government fully responsible for any harm he suffers during his detention. We continue to appeal to the Sudanese civil society and political and national powers to pay heed to the case of the Sudanese citizen Mudawi Ibrahim whose only crime was seeking a better future for Sudan and its people.”
28 January 2017: Statement from Dr Mudawi's family about their first visit to prison
After nearly two months of detention, we finally succeeded on the 27 of January 2017 at 11 am in getting permission to see Dr. Mudawi Ibrahim. He looked very fatigued as a result of the week-long hunger strike which he started on Sunday, 22nd of January 2016 and ended it on Friday 27th of January at 11:30 am after our visit. We put a lot of effort into persuading him to break his hunger strike because his health was very clearly deteriorating. He said the hunger strike is the only weapon he has, because he was interrogated twice in his first five days of detention in Kober prison. He was pressured by NISS not to see any of his family members, and all he requests is either to be put on trial or released. We, the family who met with him, informed him about the efforts being put into his case by international and local supporters, and we all sincerely hope our efforts succeed. He agreed to stop his hunger strike temporarily, saying he will give the authorities a week to put him on trial. If they do not, he will go into an open-ended hunger strike next Thursday. As his family, we appeal to all human rights organisations, national, regional and international and we appeal to all diplomatic institutions, the University of Khartoum engineering students, and civil society activists to join us in the campaign for his release.
26 January 2017: A Letter from Dr. Mudawi's Family & Friends
We express extreme concern over Dr. Mudawi's safety and health, espcially since learning he has been tortured by the Kober Prison authorities since 22 January. Dr. Mudawi went on hunger strike to protest his arbitrary detention, as he has been held without charge since 7 December 2016 without access to legal counsel.
According to several released detainees who witnessed the ill-treatment of Dr. Mudawi, the security personnel tortured him to force him to stop his hunger strike. The eye witnesses said Dr. Mudawi was chained by hands and feet to a wall and subjected to beatings and flogging.
We hold the security authorities responsible for any ill-health suffered by Dr. Mudawi during his detention, especially given the circumstances of his chronic heart condition.
We ask the security authorities to release Dr. Mudawi immediately or guarantee him a fair trial and publicly announce the charges against him. We call on local, regional and international human rights organisations to follow up on Dr. Mudawi’s case and raise it with influential political and national actors who can urge the Sudanese authorities to release Dr. Mudawi and stop human rights violations against all detainees in Sudan.
Family, friends and students of Dr. Mudawi