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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

JEM Captives Being Tortured by Sudan Government

Today, January 25, 2011, 13 hours ago
January 24, 2011 (NAIROBI) – The Darfur rebel group Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) said on Sunday that its members captured earlier this month by the Sudanese authorities in western Darfur are being subjected to cruel torture, threatening the government of reprisal attacks against individuals implicated in the process.

Logo of Darfur rebel group Justice and Equality Movement
On January 11, forces of the Sudanese government and its allied militias ambushed and captured a 12-strong unit of JEM in an area close to El- Geniena, the provincial capital of West Darfur State. The most high profile captive is Ibrahim Al-Maz Deng, who is JEM's secretary for coordination with southern Sudan.

North Sudan government accuses south Sudan, which is on its way to becoming a fully independent state, of giving sanctuary and support to some Darfur rebel groups. Minni Arkoi Minawi, the leader of the only rebel group to sign a peace accord with the government, defected from the northern government and relocated to south Sudan.

A press release undersigned by JEM's general commander Suliman Sandal and seen by Sudan Tribune said that the group's “reliable” sources in Khartoum had informed that the captives were being subjected to the “cruelest forms of torture” under the direct supervision of Brigadier-General Abdul Hafiz Ahmad Al-Bashir, the head of the interrogation department at Sudan's National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS).

JEM's statement said that the captives were being interrogated under duress to elicit confessions in “a blatant violation not only of international and regional laws and conventions, but also of the provisions of the interim constitution and national laws.”

According to JEM, its prisoners were being transferred on daily basis from their cells at Kober Federal Prison in Khartoum North at 7 pm local time to a place known as the “oven” at the NISS headquarters and returned to their cells at 7 am the next morning.
The movement further claimed that the group's leader Ibrahim Al-Maz was being subjected to “special torture techniques departing from disgusting racist grounds.”
JEM warned the government that it had detailed information on the individuals involved in the torture process and would not hesitate to avenge the torture of its captives.

The Sudanese government already has a number of high-profile JEM members in custody, including the half-brother of the group's leader Khalil Ibrahim, who were arrested after JEM staged an attack on the capital Khartoum in May 2008. Sudan sentenced a large number of JEM prisoners to death but none has been executed, and the government uses prisoners as a bargaining chip in peace negotiations with the rebel group.

Rebel groups in Sudan's western region of Darfur rebels rose against the central government in 2003, accusing it of marginalizing the region in terms of development and wealth-sharing. A subsequent counterinsurgency campaign by Khartoum led to the death of 300,000 people and displacement of more than 2 million, according to UN figures.

The Rest @ Sudan Tribune

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