48/90-50/91-52/91-89/93 : Amnesty International, Comité Loosli Bachelard, Lawyers' Committee for Human Rights, Association of Members of the Episcopal Conference of East Africa / Sudan Summary of Facts 1. Communication 48/90, submitted by Amnesty International, and communication 50/91, submitted by Comité Loosli Bachelard, deal with the arbitrary arrests and detentions that took place following the th coup of 30 July 1989, in Sudan. It is alleged therein that hundreds of prisoners were detained without trial or charge. 2. Communication 50/91 alleges that since June 1990 members of opposition groups, among them Abdal-Qadir, Mohammed Salman and Babiker Yahya, have been arrested, detained, and subjected to torture. Other detainees include lawyers, members of opposition groups and human rights activists. The allegations are based on information from a wide variety of sources including interviews with eyewitnesses. 3. According to the plaintiff, Decree No. 2 of 1989 permits the detention of anyone "suspected of being a threat to political or economic security" under a state of emergency; the right to personal liberty and security was protected under Article 21 of the 1985 Transitional Constitution, but the Constitution was suspended in 1989. The Complainant further claims that the President can order the arrest of anyone without the need to give reasons for such detention. No judicial challenge of such decisions is permissible. Decree No. 2 also provides for the creation of special courts to try those arrested under the state of emergency legislation. Section 9 of the Decree ousts the jurisdiction of the ordinary courts in cases arising from its enforcement. It is further alleged that the 1990 National Security Act created a National Security Council and Bureau. Under this Act, the security forces have powers of arrest, entry and search. Persons can be detained under this Act, without access to family, or lawyers for up to 72 hours, renewable for up to one month. Detention can be for up to three months if it is for the"maintenance of public security" and on approval of the Security Council and a magistrate. Appeal to a magistrate is permitted. In 1994 this Act was amended, enabling the National Security Council to renew a three-month order without reference to any persons. Further renewals require approval by a judge. There is no right to challenge detention under this Act and no reasons need be given for such detention. 4. The communications additionally allege that political prisoners are kept in secret detention centres known as "ghost houses". One of these was closed in 1995, and the prisoners transferred to the main civil prison in Khartoum. 5. The communications also allege widespread torture and ill treatment in the prisons and "ghost houses" in Sudan. These allegations are supported by doctors’ testimonies, personal accounts of alleged victims and a report by the UN Special Rapporteur. A number of individual victims are named. Additionally, it is alleged that many individuals were tortured after being arrested at army checkpoints or in military or war zones. Acts of torture include forcing detainees to lie on the floor and being soaked with cold water; confining four groups of individuals in cells 1.8 metres wide and one metre deep, deliberately flooding cells to prevent detainees from lying down, forcing individuals to face mock executions, and prohibiting them from washing. Other accounts describe burning with cigarettes and the deliberate banging of doors at frequent intervals throughout the night to prevent sleeping. Individuals were bound with rope such that circulation was cut off to parts of their bodies, beaten severely with sticks, and had battery acid poured onto open wounds. 6. The communications allege extra-judicial executions. Thousands of civilians have been killed in southern Sudan in the course of the civil war, and the government is alleged to have executed suspected members of the SPLA without trial and there has been no investigation into or prosecution for such incidents. In the course of counter-insurgency attacks, civilians in the Nuba Mountains area and northern Bahr al-Ghazal have been killed when their villages were destroyed. These occurred in 1987-1989 but events are still continuing to this day.