Officers of Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) have arrested six doctors and attacked protesting medical students and doctors in the last two weeks. This is worrisome for several reasons, including that the arrests are warranted by Sudan’s 2010 National Security Act.
NISS officers are arresting doctors simply for participating in the Doctors’ Strike Committee, which has been pressuring authorities to keep their promises to improve the working conditions and salaries of Sudanese doctors. The government has neglected its promises to doctors, and instead is using an unjust law to arrest, detain, and intimidate protesting doctors.
Amnesty International is calling on the Sudanese government to reform its unjust laws and to protect the rights of its citizens. The government has granted itself the power to detain without charge for up to four and a half months, and NISS agents are essentially free to violate human rights as long as they do it as part of their work. This means that the government can arrest people like Dr. Bahkit and Dr. Aldin, who, as prisoners of conscience, are simply advocating peacefully for better treatment from the government. Even worse, NISS officers can beat and torture those they arrest without a single worry of future prosecution.
Take action to get the Sudanese government to respect the rights of its citizens. It is deeply disturbing that peaceful doctors are being mistreated and detained without charge. Sudanese authorities need to grant these doctors the freedom of expression and improved working conditions.
Anna Westlund, Individuals at Risk Campaign, contributed to this blog post.
Members of the Urgent Action Network provide an effective and rapid response by sending letters, e-mails, and faxes directly to those who have the power to stop the violations. For more information visit: www.amnestyusa.org/uan