Sudan: Rights groups condemn government action in Darfur
The London-based rights organisation Amnesty International cited the case of 24 people on murder charges who, it said, were tried by Special Courts whose procedures were "grossly unfair".
"The state has a duty to punish those who commit such crimes but they must be given a fair trial and not be sentenced to death," Amnesty said. "The government of Sudan must ensure that those sentenced are given a fair hearing during the appeal process."
The Swiss-based World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) said it was concerned by the increased arbitrary mass arrests and risk of torture directed against members of the Zaghawa tribe in Darfur.
"OMCT is gravely concerned by this most recent wave of arbitrary arrests that have been carried out by the National Security Agency and the intelligence services," it said. "OMCT calls for their immediate release unless there are valid legal charges against them that are in line with the international law."
Darfur has experienced increased insecurity in recent months, with rights groups accusing the Khartoum government of arming Arab nomadic tribes against indigenous sedentary agricultural groups.
In response to the attacks, a group from the indigenous communities has taken up arms and formed a rebel movement, the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A).
The Khartoum government has accused the Eritrean government and the southern rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) of supporting the Darfur rebel group, charges strongly denied by Asmara.
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