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Abgeschlossen am 4. November 2010

Sudanese refugee faces forcible return

AI-Index: MDE 18/006/2010

Sudanese refugee Muhammad Babikir ‘Abd al-‘Aziz Muhammad Adam faces forcible return from Lebanon, where he is detained, to Sudan, where he would face arbitrary arrest, torture and other ill-treatment, and possibly enforced disappearance.

Muhammad Babikir Adam is being held at a General Security office in the ‘Adliyeh area of the capital Beirut. Despite his refugee status there was an attempt to deport him last week, but he refused to leave the country and was reportedly beaten. According to sources in Lebanon, General Security officials then forced him to sign with his fingerprints a document that, being illiterate, he could not read; no lawyer was present. Amnesty International does not have information about the content of the document, but fears that it is part of an attempt to forcibly return him to Sudan and make it look like he agreed to being deported.

Muhammad Babikir Adam has been detained in Lebanon since 29 January. On 11 March he was sentenced to one month’s imprisonment for violation of a deportation order. He remains detained, beyond the expiry of his sentence, while General Security reportedly prepares to deport him and 48 other Sudanese back to Sudan. Amnesty International is concerned that his conviction, sentence and resulting imprisonment may have been unlawful and in violation of international human rights law and standards concerning refugees.

Muhammad Babikir Adam is a member of the Fur ethnic group, from Darfur in western Sudan, a region which in recent years has witnessed large-scale violations of human rights and humanitarian law, including war crimes and crimes against humanity. Lebanon has international obligations not to return in any circumstances any individual to a country where they would be at risk of torture.

Additional Information

A conflict between various armed opposition groups and the government armed forces and their allied militias erupted in 2003 in Darfur, western Sudan. According to UN estimates, around 300,000 people have been killed and more than 2.7 million displaced so far. The conflict has been marked by large-scale violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, including war crimes and crimes against humanity. The Sudanese National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) have extensive powers of arrest and detention. They are able to detain people for a period of four and a half months without judicial review under Sudanese law. They have also been responsible for numerous human rights violations against people from Darfur, particularly amongst internally displaced persons and members of Darfurian ethnic groups, such as the Furs, Zaghawas and Massalit.

Amnesty International has documented cases of prolonged detention without trial of Darfurians living in both Khartoum and Darfur. Detainees have been subjected to torture and other forms of ill-treatment, unfair trials, enforced disappearance and death in detention. In May 2008, the Justice and Equality Movement, a Darfur-based armed opposition group, launched an attack on the capital, Khartoum. Although they were stopped within hours by the Sudanese armed forces, the NISS then proceeded to arrest Darfurians living in Khartoum and throughout the country. Over one thousand persons were arrested in Khartoum alone in the weeks that followed the attack, mainly civilians of Darfurian origin. The NISS tortured and otherwise ill-treated people arrested in the aftermath of the attack. Since January 2010, the humanitarian and human rights situation has seriously deteriorated in Darfur, with renewed clashes and displacements all over Darfur.

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