Further Information on UA 264/06 (AFR 54/057/2006, 02 October 2006) and follow-up (AFR 54/007/2007, 14 March 2007)
11 April 2007
The three men named above were released, without charge, on 28 March from Kober Prison, in the capital, Khartoum.
Whilst detained without charge, Abulgasim Ahmed Abulgasim, his brother Zakaria, and Mukhtar Ali Ahmed, were given access to a lawyer, but were denied all contact with their families. Abulgasim Ahmed Abulgasim, who is diabetic, asked for medical attention, but was refused.
Abulgasim Ahmed Abulgasim is a member of the political wing of the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM), one of the armed opposition groups fighting the government in Darfur. He had been living with his wife and two children in Saudi Arabia. On 28 September, after having been arrested by Saudi security forces, he was flown to the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, by a private Saudi Arabian chartered aircraft. He was taken blindfolded to the head office of the Sudanese National Security and then later to Kober prison, in Khartoum. Abulgasim Ahmed Abulgasim had been resident in Saudi Arabia working as a businessman and lived there with his wife. His brother had been arrested in Khartoum on 24 September.
Once in Sudan, Abulgasim Ahmed Abulgasim was told that he was being held in connection with the murder of Mohammed Taha, editor-in-chief of the newspaper Al-Wifaq. Mohammed Taha had been decapitated on 6 September, apparently by Islamists who took issue with an article he had written concerning the lineage of the Prophet Mohammed. The trial for Taha’s murder began on 28 February 2007, but neither of the Abulgasim brothers, nor Mukhtar Ali Ahmed, was formally charged.
Mukhtar Ali Ahmed, an employee of the Bank al Islami al Sudani, the Sudan Islamic Bank, was also arrested in Khartoum on 10 October. Though not formally charged, he was told his arrest was linked to the murder of Mohammed Taha. Mukhtar Ali Ahmed is also an outspoken critic of Sudanese government policy towards Darfur and an acquaintance of Zakaria Ahmed Abulgasim.
All three are originally from the Kuttum area of North Darfur ; and are from ethnic groups associated with the Darfuri armed opposition groups. It is believed they were targeted for their role in coordinating financial support to, or directly financially supporting, the SLM.
Abulgasim Ahmed Abulgasim was the head of the SLA Wealth Sharing Commission at the Darfur peace talks in Abuja, which resulted in a peace agreement between the Sudanese government and only one of the factions of the SLA, the SLA Minni Minawi. The Sudanese government has labelled the people who did not sign the peace agreement "terrorists".
Many thanks to all those who sent appeals. No further action is required from the UA network.