Home | Press Releases    Monday 20 March 2006

Darfur: Rape; Attempted Rape; Risk of Death Penalty

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SOAT

Sudan Organisation Against Torture

Human Rights Alert: 20 March 2006

On 07 March 2006, two armed militias in military uniform attacked four girls from Seraif IDP camp, Hay AlGeer, West Nyala, Southern Darfur. The girls were attacked whilst collecting firewood outside the camp at 11:30. During the attack, one of the men assaulted one of the girls and attempted to rape her. The armed man touched the girl’s breasts and attempted to forcefully remove her underwear. When she resisted, the man began to beat her. In defence she grabbed a knife that she had been using to cut the firewood and stabbed the attacker in the stomach. The details of the girls are as follows:

Amouna Mohamed Ahmed, (17 yrs), Fur tribe, Student

Fayza Ismail Abaker, (16 yrs), Fur

Houda Ismail Abdel Rahman, (17 yrs), Fur

Zahra Adam Abdella, (17 yrs), Fur

Following the stabbing, the girls managed to escape and returned to Seraif camp where they reported the incident to police officers inside the camp. The police refused to file the case.

On the same day, 07 March 2005, in the afternoon, police officers inside the camp were told of the death of a stabbing victim. Following the news of the death, the officers immediately arrested the four girls inside the camp on suspicion of murder.

The girls were initially taken to Nyala Shamal police station where they were detained for five days and charged with murder under Article 130 of the 1991 Penal Code. If convicted, the girls face death by hanging.

On 11 March 2006, the girls were transferred to Nyala Wasat (Central) Police station, head quarters of the Police in Nyala where they remain in detention.

SOAT’s network of lawyers in Nyala is providing legal assistance to the girls.

In a separate incident, on 15 March 2006, fifteen armed militia men attacked and raped five women (details withheld) from Kalma IDP camp. The women (aged between 18 and 27) were attacked whilst collecting firewood outside the camp, approximately 3 Km North East of the camp. During the attack, the women were raped and flogged. SOAT partner Organisation in Nyala, the Amel Centre for Treatment and Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture has referred the women to Medicines Sans Frontiers clinic in Kalma IDP camp, where they are receiving medical treatment.

SOAT strongly condemns the continuing sexual violence against women and girls in Darfur and the criminalisation of women and girls in Darfur for merely defending themselves against widespread and systematic rape perpetrated by armed militias operating with impunity in the region. SOAT is particularly concern that women and girls continue to venture outside IDP camps to undertake tasks including fetching firewood to sell to subsides their income or to cook with despite the presence of AU observers.

SOAT calls on the government of Sudan to:

Investigate the attack and attempted rape of the girls and the kidnapping torture of the six men and to ensure that the perpetrators are brought before an impartial tribunal and guaranteed procedural rights at all times;

Support the African Union forces to investigate the continual attacks on IDPs around IDP camps in Darfur;

Immediately embark on the immediate disarmament of Janjaweed militias and all armed militias operating in Darfur particularly outside known IDP Camps;

Immediately adhere to it commitments under the ceasefire agreement;

To comply with all UN Security resolutions and the UN commission on Human Rights Resolution which explicitly condemns “the continuation of violence against civilians and sexual violence against women and girls”;

Guarantee respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms throughout the country in accordance with national laws and international human rights standards.

- SOAT is an international human rights organisation established in the UK in 1993. If you have any questions about this or any other SOAT information, please contact us:

Argo House
Kilburn Park Road
London NW6 5LF, UK
Tel: +44 (0)20 7625 8055
Fax: +44 (0)20 7372 2656
E-mail: info@soatsudan.org
Website: www.soatsudan.org

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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.


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