Urgent Action: UN Worker Detained in Sudan
Idris Yousef Abdelrahman, a civil affairs officer for the joint United Nations African Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), is being detained and is at risk of torture or other illtreatment. On 12 July he was charged with offences that are punishable by death under Sudanese law. Amnesty International fears that the charges may be politically motivated.
Idris Yousef Abdelrahman works as a civil affairs officer for UNAMID, and is based in Nyala, South Darfur. On 27 April 2011 he went missing for two weeks, after being summoned by the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS). The NISS told Idris Yousef Abdelrahman that they wanted to meet with him to clarify how civil society participants had been selected to take part in the Doha peace conference, a conference trying to establish peace in Darfur that took place in May 2011.
On 10 May, UNAMID was informed that Idris Yousef Abdelrahman was being detained by the NISS. He was not allowed access to a lawyer until 12 July, and has not been allowed access to his family.
On 12 July, Idris Yousef Abdelrahman was charged under articles 50 and 51 of the Sudanese Criminal Act 1991: ‘undermining the constitutional system’ and ‘waging war against the state’, respectively. Both are ‘offences against the state’, and both carry a maximum sentence of capital punishment. Detainees held by the NISS have frequently reported being tortured and otherwise ill-treated.
The arrest and charges against Idris Yousef Abdelrahman contravenes the Status of Forces Agreement between the Government of Sudan and UNAMID. The agreement states that the Joint Special Representative (JSR) should immediately be informed if the government considers a UNAMID staff member to have committed a criminal offence. Evidence should be presented to the JSR, who would “conduct any necessary supplementary inquiry and then agree with the Government whether or not criminal proceedings should be instituted.” The Sudanese government did not immediately inform UNAMID of Idris Yousef Abdelrahman’s detention.
Furthermore the government charged him without consulting with the JSR on the matter. All UN staff are entitled to functional immunity i.e. protection from charges that may be brought against them in line with their official duties.
Please write immediately in English or Arabic or your own language: Calling on the authorities to respect the Status of Forces Agreement between the Government of Sudan and UNAMID, and to cooperate with the Joint Special Representative, as stated under the agreement; Calling on the authorities to ensure immediately that Idris Yousef Abdelrahman has access to his family and any medical treatment he may require; Urging the authorities to ensure that Idris Yousef Abdelraham is not tortured or otherwise ill treated;