Human Trafficking in  [Sudan]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [Sudan]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [Sudan]  [other countries]
Torture in  [Sudan]  [other countries]

Torture by Police, Forced Disappearance

& Other Ill Treatment

In the early years of the 21st Century                                                                  

Republic of Sudan

Until the second half of 2008, Sudan's economy boomed on the back of increases in oil production, high oil prices, and large inflows of foreign direct investment.

Agricultural production remains important, because it employs 80% of the work force and contributes a third of GDP. The Darfur conflict, the aftermath of two decades of civil war in the south, the lack of basic infrastructure in large areas, and a reliance by much of the population on subsistence agriculture ensure much of the population will remain at or below the poverty line for years despite rapid rises in average per capita income.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Description: Description: Description: Description: Sudan

CAUTION:  The following links have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Sudan.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.

*** ARCHIVES ***

Op-ed: Will Sudan end torture?

Ahmed Elzobier, Amnesty International, 3 April 2018

[accessed 15 April 2018]

The NISS has broad powers of arrest and detention under the National Security Act 2010. This Act has systematically been used as an instrument to intimidate, silence, and punish political opponents. NISS has the power to detain suspects for up to four-and-a-half months without judicial review. The same law also shields NISS agents from prosecution for any offence they commit in their work. This has resulted in a pervasive culture of impunity.

Armed security forces in plainclothes, forcefully handcuff, blindfold and shove victims into their cars. Victims are beaten with sticks, iron bars, gun butts, or kicked, and verbally abused. Several victims told Amnesty International that they were severely beaten for hours by several NISS agents. Some are subjected to electric shocks, whippings, solitary confinement, or they are forced to stand facing a wall, and not are to talk to each other. Some have fainted during the torture. Some have been raped.

Autopsy confirms death by torture of Darfur detainee

Dabanga, Gireida, 19 January 2018

[accessed 20 January 2018]

An official medical report has confirmed the death by torture of a pharmacy employee during his detention by security officers in Gireida, South Darfur.

A family member of Ahmed spoke to Radio Dabanga yesterday. The autopsy revealed a rupture of the kidneys, breaking of the testicles, removal of nails and a cut in the spinal cord. His death was the result of torture.

South Sudan 'torture' in shipping container prisons: Amnesty

Agence France-Presse AFP, Nairobi, 27 May 2016

[accessed 8 August 2016]

Dozens of prisoners in South Sudan are being held in conditions amounting to torture, crammed into metal containers in baking heat with minimal water and food, Amnesty International said Friday.

Several prisoners, mostly civilians accused of links to opposition or rebel groups but who have not been charged, have died from the punishment, the rights group said. Soldiers have also beaten the prisoners, Amnesty added.

"Detainees are suffering in appalling conditions and their overall treatment is nothing short of torture," said Muthoni Wanyeki, Amnesty International's chief in East Africa, adding that prisoners are "fed only once or twice a week and given insufficient drinking water."

Africa's Human Rights Tribunal Issues Damning Decision in Sudan Torture Case

Katherine Perks, African Arguments, 3 March 2015

[accessed 1 April 2015]

The African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights (African Commission), Africa's main human rights body, recently published a decision holding Sudan responsible for the arbitrary detention and torture of three prominent Sudanese human rights defenders.

Osman Hummaida, Amir Suliman and Monim El Jak were detained and tortured by Sudan's National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) in November 2008 for their alleged support to the International Criminal Court's (ICC) investigations into mass atrocities perpetrated in Sudan's Darfur region. They left Sudan shortly after their release, fearing for their safety.

Human Rights Watch World Report 2015 - Events of 2014

Human Rights Watch, 29 January 2015 or download PDF at

[accessed 18 March 2015]


Sudan saw no progress in its abysmal rights record in 2014. Instead, new episodes of conflict in Darfur, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile states resulted in large numbers of civilian deaths and displaced; security forces repeatedly suppressed protesters demonstrating against government policies; and authorities continued to stifle civil society and independent media.


ACCOUNTABILITY AND JUSTICE - South Sudan’s government has not provided accountability for abuses committed by its forces, nor demonstrated the will to hold them to account. The opposition has not, to Human Rights Watch’s knowledge, investigated or punished any abusive forces. A presidential committee formed in January to investigate killings and abuses has made no public update on its findings. Many victims are reluctant to provide information to the committee because of its lack of independence, and because there are no clear mechanisms for victim and witness protection.

S. Sudan rebels accuse government of arrests, torture

Sudan Tribune, Kampala, 31 October 2014

[accessed 27 November 2014]

“We have over 90 senior intellectuals and opinions leaders from Equatoria, including chiefs who have been arrested for telling the truth and many have been killed,” said Pierino Nathaniel Oyet.

The rebel official also alleged that about 80 tortures centres were established in Juba allegedly to mistreats and abuse civilians unlawfully arrested by security agents.

“There are eight torture centres around Juba and one is close to the [Nile] river side. They are torturing and killing people there and throwing them in to the Nile. We are all aware of what the government is doing as far we are concern,” Oyet claimed.

Torture survivor calls for rethink on US policy on Sudan

Sudan Tribune, Washington, 15 March 2014

[accessed 19 March 2014]

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued arrest warrants for Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir and other senior government officials in connection to their alleged role in directing genocide and war crimes in the Darfur region.

Elgadi, meanwhile, has condemned the US government’s continued communication with senior figures in the Sudanese regime alleged to have overseen killings and torture, including former presidential adviser Nafie Ali Nafie and Islamist opposition leader Hassan al-Turabi, who received invitations to visit the US.

“Seeking guidance from leaders who torture their people is a fearful sign of regression in the US foreign policy,” Elgadi writes.

“The regime in Sudan has been committing crimes against humanity for the past 24 years. The US, along with many other countries, has become complicit by its inaction or indifference,” his letter continues.

Both Nafie and Turabi have been implicated in the creation and subsequent cover-up of Sudan’s so-called ‘ghost houses’, a feared government-sponsored system of torture and secret detention that is reportedly still operational across the country.

Elgadi himself was held in a ghost house for 118 days after being arrested at a peaceful protest where he says he was subjected to up to 30 different methods of torture, including sexual torture.

Sudanese 'diplomats spying for agents that torture in Khartoum'

Damien McElroy, Foreign Affairs Correspondent, The Telegraph, 09 Jan 2013

Click [here] to access the article.  Its URL is not displayed because of its length

[accessed 10 January 2013]

Sudanese officials have used information gathered by the regime's agents in Britain to interrogate and torture British-based opposition activists on their return to the homeland, MPs have alleged

Badaoui Malik Badaoui, a Dafur refugee, was arrested at Khartoum airport in July last year to face questions about his attendance at demonstrations at Downing St and outside the Sudanese embassy in St James in 2010.   Over a period of nine days in detention, he suffered daily beatings after undergoing questions for shaming Darfur. .

Mr Nuradin said he ws beaten, sometimes by hand, sometimes with a metal pipe or rifle butt of a rifle. He suffered cigarette burns and was made to stand in the sun all day. At night cold water was thrown on him as he slept.

The state of the world's human rights

Amnesty International AI, Annual Report 2013

[accessed 9 Feb 2014]

FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION AND ASSEMBLY - The NSS tortured or otherwise ill-treated many of those detained following the June demonstrations. NSS agents slapped, punched and kicked prisoners, and beat them with rubber hoses. Detainees were made to stand outside for hours in scorching heat, and to adopt stress positions. Many were denied food or water and access to basic hygiene facilities.

On 31 July, at least 10 people, predominantly high-school students, were killed when security services and paramilitary police opened fire during a demonstration against fuel prices and the cost of living in Nyala, Darfur.

On 6 and 7 December, four Darfuri students from Al Jazeera University in Wad Madani were found dead in a canal near the university. The four had been arrested by NSS officers following protests at the university. The bodies reportedly bore signs of beatings, suggesting torture or ill-treatment.

Protesters Describe Torture by Security Officers

Human Rights Watch, New York, March 4, 2011

[accessed 10 January 2013]

Sudanese national security officials subjected large numbers of youth protesters to severe physical and sexual abuse following protests in January and February, 2011, Human Rights Watch said today. Based on testimony and information collected by Human Rights Watch, the students and youth, some as young as 18, were subjected to harsh beatings, electric shocks, and other abuses that amount to torture. Security officials are also implicated in the rape of a female youth activist in February.

Ali Mohammed Osman, a student member of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement who was carrying fliers calling for the release of protesters, was arrested by a group of security agents in Omdurman on the night of February 14 and interrogated for more than 24 hours.

He told Human Rights Watch that he was blindfolded, forced into a truck, and taken to a detention center, where he was threatened, interrogated, and beaten on his back and shoulders with sticks and a plastic pipe and forced to remain standing all night. The beatings caused severe injuries, requiring him to seek medical care upon his release.

National security officials forced detainees to sign statements pledging not to participate in more protests or talk about conditions of detention before releasing them, those interviewed told Human Rights Watch. Several detainees went into hiding after their release, fearing retaliation. Security officers attempted to re-arrest Osman on two occasions after he publicly reported his mistreatment. Another youth activist, currently in detention, was re-arrested after he posted information on Facebook about mistreatment he saw in detention, according to released detainees.

Arrested, beaten and tortured: young Briton describes year of terror in Sudan

Saeed Kamali Dehghan, and James Copnall in Khartoum, The Guardian, 6 August 2012

[accessed 10 January 2013]

Suspected of fomenting revolution, Magdy el-Baghdady was arrested, tried and subjected to a mock execution.

For a period of eight days, Baghdady and his friend were taken from jail every day to NISS headquarters for interrogation. The beatings and kickings usually came before and after those long sessions, he said.

"The day after our arrest, men came to the cell, blindfolded and shackled us outside the cell, and beat us with plastic pipes directly outside the transfer office," he said. "I was facing a wall, Omar was on my right. They beat us from behind, made sounds as they struck us, not words. They beat my right shoulder, the right side of my ribs, and across my right thigh. I fell to the floor. I tried to use my cuffed arms to protect myself. I was blindfolded so I could not see the strikes coming. The anticipation was worse than the blow."

One the fourth day, Baghdady and Mahdi were held against a wall by a firing squad. "A gunman pressed the muzzle of his weapon on the back of my head just above my neck, he pressed the gun into me. I knew all men had the same thing happen to them.

"The senior officer standing on the wall shouted an order. All the men cocked their weapons once. I heard whimpering from the prisoners, then complete silence. That was the most intimidating moment. I dare not move my muscles. The gun never left the back of my head. The high ranking officer shouted another command, and the guns were cocked a second time. Omar said: 'It's empty, it's empty, it's empty.'"

It was later that Baghdady realised it was a mock execution; an intimidating tactic also used against many other fellow prisoners, including Mohamed Nour Khalil, an opposition figure.

Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 10 January 2013]

TORTURE AND OTHER CRUEL, INHUMAN, OR DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT – Although the constitution prohibits such practices, government security forces continued to torture, beat, and harass suspected political opponents and others.

In accordance with Shari'a (Islamic law), the Criminal Act provides for physical punishments, including flogging, amputation, stoning, and "crucifixion"‑‑the public display of a body after execution. According to the constitution, the government officially exempts the 10 southern states from Shari'a law. There were no reports of physical punishments carried out against non-Muslims in the North. During the year hundreds of persons, primarily southerners, were flogged, especially after the August Khartoum riots. On December 25, the Special Court in Zalingy, Darfur, sentenced a man to cross amputation after convicting him of murder and armed robbery.

Credible sources indicated that security forces tortured to death several southerners in security camps during the Khartoum riots. Common methods of torture were severe beatings and beatings of the genitals. Individuals perceived as government opponents were subjected to torture.

On January 24, authorities arrested, beat, and detained, and for several months political activist Salah Abdelrahman; they held Abdelrahman incommunicado for two months before releasing him on August 11 without filing charges.

Impunity continued to be a serious problem. On October 17, government security forces detained and tortured nine students on the campus of the Islamic University in Omdurman after they attempted to form a union. The students were beaten with thick metal chains, plastic piping sticks, and rifle butts.

There were reports that government security forces tortured and beat persons suspected of supporting the rebels in Darfur. On February 22, Mahmoud Abaker Osman and Diggo Abdel Jabbar were arrested on suspicion of joining the SLA in Darfur. They were reportedly detained for 11 days in a hole in the ground and beaten with sticks.

Security forces beat and mistreated refugees and injured and killed persons while dispersing demonstrations (see sections 2.b. and 2.d.).

Soldiers, Popular Defense Force (PDF) members, and militia forces raped women (see section 1.g.). There was a clear and documented pattern of rape and sexual abuse directed at IDPs of all ages in Darfur (see section 1.g.).

Although there were two convictions for torture during the year, the government seldom acted against security forces responsible for torture or other such abuses.

Freedom House Country Report - Political Rights: 7   Civil Liberties: 7   Status: Not Free

2009 Edition

[accessed 10 January 2013]

The judiciary is not independent. Lower courts provide some due process safeguards, but the higher courts are subject to political control, and special security and military courts do not apply accepted legal standards. In response to the ICC investigation into crimes committed in Darfur, the government created the Special Courts for Darfur; their credibility has been challenged by legal experts. Sudanese criminal law is based on Sharia and allows punishments such as flogging and amputation, although such laws apply only to northern, Muslim states. Police and security forces practice arbitrary arrest and torture with impunity, and prison conditions do not meet international standards. Under the CPA, the government created the National Judicial Service Commission (NJSC) to manage the judicial system; coordinate the relationships between judiciaries at the national, Southern Sudan, and state levels; and oversee the appointment, approval, and dismissal of judges. Nevertheless, the NJSC is subject to government pressure.

Human Rights Overview

Human Rights Watch

[accessed 10 January 2013]

Since June 2012, the Sudanese government has violently dispersed youth-led protests against austerity measures and ruling party policies. Security forces have arrested and detained scores of preceived opponents.  They continue to mistreat and torture detainees and censor the media. Fighting between government forces and armed opposition groups in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states, bordering South Sudan, broke out in June 2011. Sudan’s indiscriminate bombing in civilian-populated areas has displaced hundreds of thousands of people in Sudan and South Sudan. The conflict in the western region of Darfur continues, nine years on, with no signs of resolution.

U.S. Library of Congress - Country Study

Library of Congress Call Number DT154.6 .S93 1992

[accessed 7 August 2017]

THE LEGAL SYSTEM - HUMAN RIGHTS - International human rights organizations and foreign governments, including the United States, have reported that since the Bashir government came to power in 1989, it systematically engaged in a range of human rights abuses against persons suspected of dissident political activity (see Security Organizations , ch. 5). The Sudanese Human Rights Organization was forcibly dissolved in July 1989, and scores of politicians, lawyers, judges, and teachers were arrested. According to a February 1991 report by Amnesty International, arbitrary arrest continued to be frequent, at least 40 political prisoners with serious health conditions were not receiving medical treatment, more than 200 political prisoners had been detained for more than a year without charges, torture was routine, and some political prisoners were summarily executed after trials in which the accused were not afforded opportunities to present any defense.  [Data as of June 1991].

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Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, "Torture by Police, Forced Disappearance & Other Ill Treatment in the early years of the 21st Century- Sudan",, [accessed <date>]



Human Trafficking in  [Sudan]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [Sudan]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [Sudan]  [other countries]
Torture in  [Sudan]  [other countries]