Abdel Hadi Radi and others v. Sudan

The 88 applicants are Sudanese nationals who, having fled from Southern Sudan, Darfur and other parts of Sudan, became internally displaced persons (IDPs) living in the Soba Aradi camp in Khartoum. In May 2005, a team of police officers and soldiers entered the camp, sealed off parts of it and sought to forcibly relocate several thousand resident families. The residents resisted and violence broke out, resulting in the killing of several police officers and IDPs. Over the next few weeks, the police arrested and detained at least 684 persons in connection with the incident.

The applicants allege the following: They were held for more than twelve months without any charges being brought against them, were not provided with any custodial safeguards, such as access to a lawyer, to family members and to medical care, and were not allowed to challenge the lawfulness of their detention. At the Khartoum police headquarters, applicants were subjected to beatings with sticks and whips and to falaqa (beating on the sole of the feet causing excruciating pain) and death threats. They were also not given food for two days and deprived of medical care. The treatment was inflicted ostensibly as punishment for the riots and as a means to extract confessions. After their transfer to Kober prison, the applications were held incommunicado, were denied access to toilet facilities and were subjected to forced standing and whippings. Most applicants were released without charges in June and July 2006. Subsequent complaints to the Sudanese authorities concerning the ill-treatment and torture have not resulted in any investigations or reparations.

On 19 January 2009, REDRESS and the Khartoum Centre for Human Rights and Environmental Development submitted an application on behalf of the 88 applicants to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, alleging violations of articles 1, 5, 6 and 7 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights.

At the 54th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights, the Commission found violations of articles alleged to have been violated - Articles 1, 5, 6 and 7(1)(c) and (d) of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights. The Commission urged Sudan to:

a) Pay adequate compensation to the victims;

b) Initiate an effective and impartial investigation into the circumstances of arrest and detention and subsequent treatment;

c) Amend the domestic legislation that is incompatible with the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights;

d) Train security officers on relevant standards concerning adherence to custodial safeguards and the prohibition of torture.

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