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Sudan: Prominent human rights defender detained incommunicado

(20 December 2016) A prominent Sudanese human rights defender (HRD), Dr. Mudawi Ibrahim Adam, is currently detained incommunicado by the country’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS). Dr. Mudawi was arrested at the University of Khartoum, where he is a professor, on 7 December 2016 alongside his longtime driver, Adam El Sheikh Mukhtar. Both men are currently being held without charge or access to their families and lawyers at NISS headquarters near Shande Bus Station. The 22 undersigned organisations express serious concerns regarding the two men’s safety and well-being whilst in the custody of the NISS.

NISS officers raided Dr. Mudawi’s home -hours after his arrest on the evening of 7 December, and only informed his family of his arrest and whereabouts five days later, on 12 December. To date, authorities have failed to give a reason or present charges to justify Dr. Mudawi’s arrest.

Mr. Mukhtar’s whereabouts were not confirmed until 12 December and there are no charges known to be leveled against him. He is suspected to be held solely for his affiliation with Dr. Mudawi, whom he has worked for since 2001, as a means to extract information and intelligence regarding Dr. Mudawi’s work and connections to human rights activities. Interrogations by the NISS documented by our organisations consistently involve beatings, verbal abuse and threats, and other ill-treatment.

Read the full press release.

IRRI Rights in Exile Newsletter

Issue 77, January 2017
ISSN 2049-2650

In this issue:

Building capacity for mental health professionals working with refugees

The aftermath of an invalid referendum on relocation of asylum seekers: A constitutional amendment in Hungary

US asylum denial rates rise to 57% in FY 2016, unrepresented increase

Migration trends to watch in 2017

Refugee Council of Australia wins landmark case on citizenship for former refugees

Report on the ruling of Chiang Rai juvenile court in the case of Somali refugee child

USA: Matter of M-S-B-, Respondent

European Court of Human Rights: Paposhvili v. Belgium (no. 41738/10, GC)

Hotline for Refugees and Migrants secures refugee status for Darfuri in Israel Penang Stop

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.