Monim Elgak, Osman Hummeida and Amir Suliman v Sudan

Communication 379/09
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The complainants were human rights activists who were arrested, tortured and ill-treated by the Intelligence Services of Sudan. They were also compelled to leave Sudan. Mr. Suliman’s human rights organization was further shut down by the Sudanese Authorities. During the interrogation, the authorities threatened to kill and rape Mr. Hummeida. He was further denied medical attention despite suffering from high blood pressure. Mr. Monim was beaten with cane and plastic pipes and severely injured.

The complainants alleged that their rights under the African Charter of Human Rights had been violated.

The Commission held that the Sudanese Government had violated the complainants’ rights under the African Charter including right to dignity, right to liberty and security and right to freedom from torture, cruel and inhuman treatment.

The Commission further stated that the complainants’ right to health had been violated as they suffered from severe physical and psychological harm. Further the denial of medical attention to Mr. Hummeida when he was in the custody of State authorities violated his right to health. Mr. Suliman’s right to work had been interfered with as his organization had been shut down without any lawful cause.

The Commission ordered the payment of compensation, prosecution of persons liable for this breach of human rights and reopening of the accounts of Mr. Suliman’s organization.

“The Commission notes the description of the treatment described above to which the Complainants were subjected while in NISS detention. The Commission also notes that these acts, characterized amongst other things by severe beatings, credible threats and sleep deprivation, resulted in severe physical and mental pain and suffering on the three complainants. The Commission also observes that these acts were intentionally inflicted by public officials (NISS officials) for the purpose of punishing the Complainants and obtaining information about laptops and bags purportedly containing evidence of their collusion with the ICC.” (Para 99)

“The Complainants have submitted that even though Mr. Hummeida suffered from high blood pressure, the medication given to him was not adequate to guarantee his health. The Commission notes that the treatment still left him in a situation which was both life threatening and jeopardized his health. The Commission considers that the State in this circumstance violated his right to health by failing to take the necessary measures to protect his health especially given that he was in the custody of State authorities.” (Para 137)