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Sudan: Urgent concern for human rights defender on hunger strike over unlawful detention

(14 February 2017) Dr. Mudawi Ibrahim Adam, a prominent Sudanese human rights defender, has been unlawfully detained for over two months, held by the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) at Khartoum’s Kober Prison without charge or access to legal representation, 39 human rights groups and activists said.

Dr. Mudawi, who was arrested with his driver, Adam El-Sheikh Mukhtar, on December 7, 2016 at the University of Khartoum, has received three brief visits from family members, all of which have been supervised by the NISS. A public statement issued by the family after meeting him on January 27, 2017 stated that he appeared to be in poor health with visible weight loss. They said that the NISS have prevented Dr. Mudawi from receiving essential medication for a pre-existing heart condition. The latest visit, on February 9, followed a week-long hunger strike that continues to date. The family noted that Dr. Mudawi has lost further weight and is extremely fragile with decreasing blood pressure.

February 14, 2017 is 70 days since his arrest, and 13 days since Dr. Mudawi resumed a hunger strike to protest his detention without charge or access to legal representation. He originally went on hunger strike on January 22, but ended it on January 27 following a family visit. Dr. Mudawi resumed his hunger strike on February 2 to protest the continued unlawfulness of his detention. He has since been placed into a “punishment cell” with bad ventilation and very hot temperatures, thereby exacerbating his medical concerns. The NISS have furthermore opened proceedings against Dr. Mudawi under Article 133 (Attempted Suicide) as a result of his hunger strike.

Read the full press release.

IRRI Rights in Exile Newsletter

Issue 78, February 2017
ISSN 2049-2650

In this issue:

These jurisdictions have become “asylum free zones”: In some US jurisdictions, the denial rate for refugees seeking asylum is as high as 98%

Central African Republic waiting for peace: On the issues with Fiona Mangan and Igor Acko

A medical doctor reflects on the treatment and healing of torture survivors

Senegal: Around 45,000 have fled political uncertainty in The Gambia

American Civil Liberties Union challenges US ban after refugees detained at airports

Blocking detainees’ access to legal advice websites probably breaches Article 10 ECHR

OP ED: A dark winter in Europe

Letters: Promoting the international protocol on documentation and investigation of sexual violence in conflict in Uganda

Letters: Updates from Hotline for Refugees and Migrants in Israel

Read the full issue.

I Know the Consequences of War: Understanding the dynamics of displacement in Burundi

(7 December 2016) Today, the International Refugee Rights Initiative launched a new report, “I Know the Consequences of War: Understanding the dynamics of displacement in Burundi”. The report brings much needed insight as to how Burundians are deciding to flee or stay in a context in which more than 300,000 are already in exile. The report has not only direct bearing on the potential to resolve displacement in and from Burundi, but also enables the international community to gain a better understanding of the causes of exile that can be applied in other contexts.

Based on 117 interviews with those who have fled to Tanzania, those who fled and have returned, those displaced internally and those who stayed put, one of the key findings was that individuals’ previous experiences had influenced their assessment of risk. For many, their previous experience of conflict was an incentive to flee early, before the situation reached its worst “I had seen such things since my childhood, so how could I wait? I know the consequences of war.” For others, painful memories of previous rounds of displacement influenced their decision to stay “[t]hey would rather opt for suicide or death on the spot rather than returning into exile.”

Read the full press release.
Read the full report.

Civil Society Statement to the UN Human Rights Council regarding South Sudan:

Tomorrow marks a terrible anniversary for South Sudan. On December 15, 2013, fighting in Juba ignited a brutal conflict that has torn the country apart, leaving millions of South Sudanese in dire need. Today the country stands on a precipice.

On behalf of the undersigned organizations we urge the UN Human Rights Council to use its full powers to help end three years of appalling atrocities against civilians, including journalists and humanitarian workers and as well as human rights activists, before the situation deteriorates even further.   

Despite the August 2015 peace agreement, the warring parties continue to kill, rape and displace communities with impunity. Many of these acts constitute war crimes. They may amount to crimes against humanity. These crimes have generated a humanitarian and human rights crisis of appalling proportions.

Ongoing attacks on humanitarian aid workers, human rights activists and journalists and the regular obstruction of humanitarian access make it difficult to protect civilians or address the immense needs of communities. 

We are deeply frustrated that there have been few consequences for and little accountability of the perpetrators.

Read the full civil society statement.