The Nobel Women’s Initiative sent a letter last week to Sudan’s President Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir in response to the forced disappearance of Mohamed Salah Abdelrahman. The letter urges the government of Sudan to act on behalf of human rights defenders and indicates concern for Mohamed’s whereabouts and well-being.
News of his arrest was first transmitted by his sister and fellow rights activist Walaa Salah Mohamed Abdelrahman. In 2012, Walaa took part in the Nobel Women’s Sister-to-Sister mentorship program. With an unwavering commitment to justice and democracy, previous political detention is a familiar experience for the Abdelrahman family. The Nobel Women’s Initiative joins the call for due process and the protection of human rights defenders, amongst a complex and shifting political landscape.
This letter urges the Government of Sudan to release Mohamed Salah Abdelrahman immediately.
Find the full text of the letter and more information below.
26 March 2014
RE: Release human rights defender Mr. Mohamed Salah Abdelrahman
The Nobel Women’s Initiative calls for the immediate release of Mr. Mohamed Salah Abdelrahman who was forcibly disappeared at Khartoum International Airport on 20 March 2014. We are gravely concerned for his wellbeing and urge your government to take action immediately to uphold the protection of human rights defenders in Sudan.
Mohamed Salah Abdelrahman intended to travel to Tunisia for a workshop but instead was detained for some time at the airport. His whereabouts are unknown and his family has requested to know his location. The Nobel Women’s Initiative is alarmed that Mohamed Salah Abdelrahman has not received access to legal counsel; nor have his whereabouts been made known to his family.
We know that this is not an isolated case and believe Mohamed Salah Abdelrahman to be in imminent danger. During his previous detainment by NISS officials in 2012, he was subject to torture and inhuman treatment over a two-month duration. This caused significant deterioration to his health and aggravated an existing kidney disease with which he still struggles.
As such, the Nobel Women’s Initiative calls for:
- The immediate release of Mohamed Salah Abdelrahman and the protection of human rights defenders in Sudan.
- The location of Mohamed Salah Abdelrahman’s detainment to be made public and comprehensive legal access to be arranged on his behalf.
- Action to ensure the treatment of Mohamed Salah Abdelrahman and other political prisoners conforms to the international requirements of the ‘Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment’ as outlined by UN General Assembly resolution 43/173.
These actions on the part of the government of Sudan are crucial to setting a precedent of protection for future Sudanese civilians who carry out peaceful and legitimate work in defense of human rights. We urge you to take note and to take action: prevent the continued violation of human rights defenders’ health and security.
The Nobel Women’s Initiative is an organization comprised of six women Nobel Peace Prize Laureates: Mairead Maguire, Rigoberta Menchú Tum, Jody Williams, Shirin Ebadi, Leymah Gbowee & Tawakkol Karman. Nobel Women’s Initiative was created with the vision of helping strengthen work being done in support of women’s rights around the world. The Nobel Women’s Initiative uses the prestige of the Nobel Peace Prize and of courageous women peace laureates to magnify the power and visibility of women working in countries around the world for peace, justice and equality.
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