Search

 

Cablegate: Human Rights Violations Following Rebel Action in Khartoum

VZCZCXRO9734
OO RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #0788/01 1421353
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 211353Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0894
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 000788

DEPT FOR AF/SPG, A/S FRAZER, SE WILLIAMSON, AF/C
ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU
DEPT PLS PASS USAID FOR AFR/SUDAN

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL KPKO SOCI AU UNSC SU
SUBJECT: HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS FOLLOWING REBEL ACTION IN KHARTOUM

REF: A. KHARTOUM 716
B. KHARTOUM 718

1. (U) Summary: Following last week's armed engagements in Omdurman
between JEM and the GOS forces, Sudanese authorities have begun a
widespread campaign of random arrests, detainee torture and
newspaper censorship. While many have been released, 150
individuals remain under arrest, and one newspaper remains
shuttered. End summary.

--------------------------------------------- --------
UNMIS CONFIRMS 200 ARRESTS, 3 EXTRAJUDICIAL EXECUTIONS
--------------------------------------------- --------

2. (U) UNMIS Human Rights Team Leaders Marc Vincent met with poloff
and OTIoff Monday, May 19 to discuss human rights issues following
last week's fighting between rebels in the Justice and Equality
Movement and government forces. Khartoum is awash in rumors that
thousands of Sudanese have been arrested since the conflict. UNMIS
HR positively confirmed only 200 arrests, with 50 released after
detention and torture, and 150 still held. Eyewitness corroboration
and subsequent investigations have suggested that security forces
performed three extrajudicial executions following the conflict -
one Darfuri student pulled from his university dormitory, one
Zaghawa woman protesting as police arrested her brother, and one
adult beaten severely before dying.

3. (U) UNMIS human rights told emboffs that released detainees'
reports of their arrests are uniformly consistent. Authorities were
targeting Darfuris, particularly Zaghawas, or those who bear a
physical resemblance to people from Darfur. Pulled from buses or
dragged from their homes in Omdurman, almost all were arrested
because they were unable to produce immediate identification. One
Sudanese lawyer who visited Khobar prison reported seeing about 140
people, many of whom were bleeding, had broken limbs, and were
naked; few could walk and none had received medical treatment.
Sudanese authorities are not yet granting international
organizations access to these prisons.

4. (U) UNMIS human rights has requested access to the neighborhoods
of conflict in Omdurman to investigate civilian casualties, but
Sudanese authorities have granted access only to one site - a brick
factory where JEM rebel mortar fire killed five civilians. The
reinstatement of the curfew in Omdurman has limited information and
access in and out of the sprawling Khartoum suburb.

------------------------------------------
SPG GUEST IN FEBRUARY, NISS "GUEST" IN MAY
------------------------------------------

5. (U) Poloff spoke on May 19 with Abdelaziz Sam, general counsel of
the Sudanese Liberation Movement and secretary of legal affairs for
the Transitional Darfur Regional Authority. (Note: Sam visited
Washington in February 2008 as a guest of the Sudan Programs Group
(SPG), meeting with A/S Frazer and SPG to discuss Darfur peace
process issues. End note.) At 2:30 a.m. on Sunday, May 11, Sam and
his relatives awoke to the sound of police officers kicking in the
door at their home in Omdurman. Sam protested, saying he was a
government official, and attempted to show his identification to the
men. Sam and two male relatives were immediately arrested, bound
with their hands behind their backs, and forced into a waiting
vehicle of the central police force. During the journey, three
officers of the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS)
administered a thorough beating to the men, opening wounds on their
arms, backs and legs. Transported first to one location, beaten
further, and then transported to another, the men were bound until
7:30 that morning, when Sam was abruptly untied and led into the
office of a NISS officer. The officer apologized for Sam's
treatment, and Sam and his family members returned to Omdurman in a
government vehicle. Sam suffered a concussion, bruises, and several
deep wounds on his body.

---------------------------------------
NEWSPAPERS CENSORED BY SECURITY SERVICES
---------------------------------------

6. (U) Already restrictive, government censorship of media in
Khartoum has increased since the fighting. Newspaper editors have
reported that recently, censors are restricting the publication of
any articles that refer to detention, human rights violations, and
torture. The sensationalist Arabic daily "Alwan" published an
article on May 14 detailing the possible loss of a Sudanese MiG-29
during the fighting. Salah Gosh, head of NISS, issued a decree
suspending "Alwan" from publication, freezing its assets and
property, and also filed a police complaint against the editor.
"Alwan" has not published since the alleged incident.

KHARTOUM 00000788 002 OF 002

--------------------------------------------- -----
SUDANESE GOVERNMENT CONFIRMS ARRESTS, DENIES TORTURE
--------------------------------------------- ------

7. (U) On Tuesday, May 20, Charge Fernandez met with Adbelmoneim
Taha, Rapporteur of the GOS's Advisory Council for Human Rights (and
brother of VP Ali Osman Taha). Taha essentially confirmed UNMIS HR's
numbers, stating that 69 individuals are currently being held by
civilian authorities, and 90 other arrestees have not yet been
handed over to civilian authorities for prosecution. Sudanese
prosecutors plan that all arrestees will be tried in civilian
courts, not in military courts. Taha added that over 400 people
arrested during the initial sweeps were either released quickly, or
were cleared and released after reviews of their cases. Taha denied
that authorities had beaten, tortured or executed any individuals,
saying that perhaps JEM fighters had donned Sudanese uniforms to
execute civilians.

8. (U) Comment: Sudanese authorities struggled to react coherently
to the JEM attack and its aftermath, and the heavy-handed security
services lashed out aggressively at Darfuri residents of Omdurman
suspected of conspiring with or supporting JEM leader Khalil
Ibrahim, throwing adherence to basic human rights aside. Many
observers expected the regime's reaction to be even worse, and the
government does appear to be taking a less aggressive stance this
week, however reports of continued sporadic detentions persist.
That the government and UNMIS Human Rights agree on the approximate
number of arrestees still under detention is positive and shows a
degree of collaboration; the next task for UNMIS will be to gain
access to the detained and ensure they receive fair trials in
civilian courts.

FERNANDEZ

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC