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Immediately Release Girifna Activists in Sudan

Updated 27 January 2012 23:00

The East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project is deeply concerned by the 25th January 2012 arrests in Khartoum of seven activists working with the Sudanese pro-democracy organization Girifna and calls for their immediate release.

While marking the passing of seven years since the massacre of members of the Beja minority tribe in Port Sudan and protesting the human rights conditions in East Sudan,  five members of Girifna demonstrating at Umma Party headquarters were arrested by Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS). Amar Dirar, Nagi Musa Hasab Elrasul, Ghazi Eltayen, Mohammed Mahjoub and Sharif Kamal have been held without charge at Kober prison. The same day  another student activist and Girifna member Omar Hamid, was reportedly taken by NISS agents. Messages posted to Girifna’s official Twitter account indicate two additional arrests which remain unconfirmed.

The arrest of the six activists comes shortly after the arrest of another youth activist and Girifna volunteer Taj Alsir Jafaar. Jafaar was held for nearly three weeks before his family was alerted to the location of his detention.

“The combined factors of the ICC warrant President Bashir, the separation of South Sudan, and the democratic revolutions in North Africa has led to a startling deterioration of the space for human rights defenders and pro-democracy activists in Sudan and these arrests count as an extremely troubling example,” said Hassan Shire Sheikh, Executive Director of EHAHRDP today. “The international community and all relevant Sudanese authorities must act swiftly to promote and uphold the freedoms contained within the Sudanese Constitution.”

The East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project expresses concern over the possibility of illegal and inhumane detention conditions and calls upon NISS to release the activists immediately.

For more information, please contact:

Hassan Shire Sheikh, Executive Director, East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project on [email protected] or +256 772 753 753