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For Immediate Release

Human Rights Advocates Detained in Sudan

Cambridge, Mass - 11/26/2008

Mr. Osman Hummaida

UPDATE: On November 28, PHR received confirmation that both Osman Hummaida and Abdel Monim Elgak have been released from detention. They expressed their gratitude for the efforts of human rights advocates on their behalf. The text of the original press release remains below.

Physicians for Human Rights is deeply concerned about the arrest and incommunicado detention of human rights defenders Osman Hummaida and Abdel Monim Elgak. Both men were reportedly stopped on the streets of Khartoum on Monday, November 24, and interrogated for hours by officers of the Sudanese National Security Intelligence Services. Mr. Hummaida is the former director of the Sudanese Organization Against Torture (SOAT) and a citizen of the United Kingdom.

PHR has no information on the two mens’ location or conditions of confinement, but is concerned for their safety and for the health of Mr. Hummaida, who suffers from high blood pressure and asthma. He reportedly has not been given access to a doctor. A family member who asked to visit Mr. Hummaida was refused access to him. Mr. Hommaida was previously arrested by Sudanese authorities in 1990 and spent 18 months in secret detention locations where he was subjected to torture.

PHR calls on the Sudanese government to release these men from incommunicado detention, and to respect their rights to immediately contact UK Consular representation and/or legal counsel and to receive medical care as well as family visits.

Since its founding in 1986, PHR’s Colleagues at Risk Program has defended the rights of our colleagues whose rights are threatened due to their medical, humanitarian and human rights work.

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is an independent organization that uses medicine and science to stop mass atrocities and severe human rights violations. We are supported by the expertise and passion of health professionals and concerned citizens alike.

Since 1986, PHR has conducted investigations in more than 40 countries around the world, including Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Sudan, the United States, the former Yugoslavia, and Zimbabwe.

  • 1986 — Led investigations of torture in Chile gaining freedom for heroic doctors there
  • 1988 — First to document the Iraqi use of chemical weapons on Kurds providing               evidence for prosecution of war criminals
  • 1996 — Exhumed mass graves in the Balkans and Rwanda to provide evidence for               International Criminal Tribunals
  • 1997 — Shared the Nobel Peace Prize for the International Campaign to Ban Landmines
  • 2003 — Warned US Policymakers on health and human rights conditions prior to and               during the invasion of Iraq
  • 2004 — Documented genocide and sexual violence in Darfur in support of international               prosecutions
  • 2010 — Investigated the epidemic of violence spread by Burma’s military junta
  • 2011 — Championed the principle of noninterference with medical services in times of               armed conflict and civil unrest during the Arab Spring
  • 2012 — Trained doctors, lawyers, police, and judges in the Democratic Republic of the               Congo, Kenya, and Syria on the proper collection of evidence in sexual               violence cases
  • 2013 — Won first prize in the Tech Challenge for Atrocity Prevention with MediCapt, our               mobile app that documents evidence of torture and sexual violence

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