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Torture by Police, Forced Disappearance

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In the early years of the 21st Century, 2000 to 2025                                          

Republic of Sudan

Torture and abuse of prisoners was rampant under al-Bashir, and intensified as antigovernment protests gathered momentum, according to UN human rights monitors. Civilians were frequently victims of deadly violence during the final months of al-Bashir’s rule and the TMC’s short time in power. In July 2019, the Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors reported that 246 people had been killed and more than 1,300 wounded since the start of the protest movement in December 2018, most of them killed by the security forces.

  [Freedom House Country Report, 2020]


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.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspects of Torture by Authorities are of particular interest to you.  You might be interested in exploring the moral justification for inflicting pain or inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment in order to obtain critical information that may save countless lives, or to elicit a confession for a criminal act, or to punish someone to teach him a lesson outside of the courtroom.  Perhaps your paper might focus on some of the methods of torture, like fear, extreme temperatures, starvation, thirst, sleep deprivation, suffocation, or immersion in freezing water.  On the other hand, you might choose to write about the people acting in an official capacity who perpetrate such cruelty.  There is a lot to the subject of Torture by Authorities.  Scan other countries as well as this one.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.

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2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Sudan

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, 30 March 2021

[accessed 13 July 2021]


On December 16, the RSF detained Bahaa el-Din Nouri in Khartoum. His body was found in a morgue five days later showing signs of torture while in custody. The case was referred to the prosecutor’s office and remained pending at year’s end.


Prison conditions throughout the country remained harsh and life threatening; overcrowding was a major problem, as was inadequate health care.

Physical Conditions: The nongovernmental organization (NGO) World Prison Brief estimated, based on 2009 and 2017 data, that the country’s prisons held approximately 21,000 prisoners in facilities designed for 7,500 prisoners.


Suspects in common criminal cases, such as theft were compelled to confess guilt while in police custody through physical abuse and police intimidation of family members.

Freedom House Country Report

2020 Edition

[accessed 15 May 2020]


Torture and abuse of prisoners was rampant under al-Bashir, and intensified as antigovernment protests gathered momentum, according to UN human rights monitors. Civilians were frequently victims of deadly violence during the final months of al-Bashir’s rule and the TMC’s short time in power. In July 2019, the Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors reported that 246 people had been killed and more than 1,300 wounded since the start of the protest movement in December 2018, most of them killed by the security forces.

To date, almost none of the perpetrators of these attacks have been held to account, though eight RSF members were arrested in August 2019 for their involvement in the June massacre in Khartoum.

Sudan Releases 13 Christians Arrested in Darfur after Torture, Threats

Morning Star News, Juba, South Sudan, 23 October 2018

[accessed 23 October 2018]

Personnel from Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) released 12 of the Christians by Sunday (Oct. 21) and freed church leader Tajaldin Idriss Yousif on Monday, all without charges, but they threatened to charge the native Darfur evangelist and others with apostasy, public disturbance and crimes against the state, sources said.

“All of them were said to be tortured by NISS and are in bad shape,” a source said. “One of them is said to be in critical condition owing to torture. He is said to have been vomiting and bleeding. He was rushed to a hospital, but he was not attended to by the physicians in that hospital.”

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.

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

[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.

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

[Long URL]

[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.


From an old article -- URL not available

Article was published sometime prior to 2015

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.


For more articles:: Search Amnesty International’s website

[accessed 14 January 2019]

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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 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 2015

Library of Congress Call Number  DT154.6 .S93 2015 -- Government Printing Office GPO, Washington, DC, 2015

[accessed 14 January 2019]


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

2009 Edition

[accessed 10 January 2013]

LONG URL   ç 2009 Country Reports begin on Page 21

[accessed 13 May 2020]

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 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]

[accessed 5 July 2019]

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.

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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>]