Source: TRACKs Center
On Thursday the 22nd of September 2016, it will be the third session of the ongoing trial of six human rights defenders affiliated with TRACKs center, a center that trained on rights issues and offered language and human development certificates and courses. The center’s director, Khalfallah Al-Afif and one of its volunteers, Midhat Afifaldeen have been in detention since 22 May 2016 and a visitor to the center, Mustafa Adam, is also held with them inside Al-Huda prison in Omdurman.
The six defendants face capital crimes and they face death penalty if charged and sentenced.
Join a twitter marathon tomorrow in solidarity with six Sudanese human rights defenders who are facing criminal charges of waging war against the state, spying, forming terrorist organizations and undermining constitutional system. Three of the accused stayed 86 days in detention before charge and are still in prison.
Arwa Elrabie, one of the prominent women rights defenders are among them and Imanye Leyla Raye Cameronian student who came to Sudan to study Arabic and learn Quran, she was volunteering in the centre and facing the same charges as well.
In the last trial, the National Intelligence and Security Service which filed the case against them has presented some of the evidence against two of the accused. Those evidence were 21 pornographic videos and private photos featuring the accused and their family and friends. This is seen as a move to divert public attention from sympathy with the accused to moral criminalization.
On the 26th of March 2015, the Khartoum-based Center for Training and Human Development or TRACKS center was raided by the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS). The center, one of Sudan’s few remaining civil society organizations that trains on human rights as well as offers various language and IT diplomas, had its equipment and documents confiscated without a search warrant . Adil Bakheit, a civil society trainer who was giving a workshop at the time was detained for nearly two months and along with the center’s director, Khalf-Allah Al-Afif , its administrative manager, Arwa Al-Rabie and its accountant, Nudaina Kamal, the State Crimes Prosecution Office filed seven charges against them with two offenses , waging war against the state and undermining the constitutional system , carrying the death penalty.
In February 2016 , the State Crimes Prosecutor found no evidence to take the case further and decided to close the file and called the center’s director to retrieve their confiscated equipment, but the national security apparatus had a different opinion. A few days later, on the 29th of February 2016, the center was subjected to another raid, again without a search warrant or any validation, its staff , affiliates, volunteers and a visitor to the center were arrested and were called in for interrogations for nearly a month where they were forced to face a wall and were kept for up to 12 hours. By May 2016, their passports were confiscated and their life was under scrutiny.
On the 22nd of May 2016, the center’s director, Khalf-Allah Al-Afifi as well as Arwa al-Rabie, Imany-Leyla Raye, a Cameeronian volunteer student, Midhat Hamdan and Hassan Kheiry who are volunteer trainers , Al-Shazali Ibrahim Al-Sheikh and Khuzaini El-Hadi who are affiliated with the center as well as Mustafa Adam, a civil society activist was visiting the center at the time, were summoned for questioning to the State Crimes Prosecution Office. They were released a week or two later, respectively, while Khalf-Allah Al-Afif, Midhat Hamdan and Mustafa Adam remained in detention in a four by four cell for three months. The cell does not have proper ventilation causing Al-Afif to faint at one point and the only access to food they have is to purchase food or depend on family and friends to bring them food. On the 15th of August 2016, after 86 days in detention, the three defenders were transferred to Al-Huda prison in Omdurman where they are paying to be housed in a cell and on the same day, they were charged with capital crimes along with Arwa Al-Rabie, Imany-Leyla Raye and Hassan Kheiry. The six defendants are charged with Article 50, undermining the constitutional system, Article 51, waging war against the state, Article 53, espionage, Article 65, criminal and terrorist organizations and Adam and Hamdan face Article 14 of the information crimes law which relates to public peace. Moreover, the case that was initially dropped in February 2016 by the State Crimes Prosecution Office was re-opened and last month, the defendants were called in for two sessions.
The committed people behind TRACKS center, one of a handful of independent civil society organizations still in operation after over a dozen were shut down in recent years are now fighting not one but two legal battles in a case that is in fact prosecuting the entire civil society in Sudan, a case that is putting their lives , their livelihoods and their family’s safety at risk and placing a great burden on civil society organizations and actors in Sudan to continue working in a country where the civil society is persecuted, arrested, tortured and subjected to draining court cases.
Please tweet and re-tweet about the trial under the hashtag #SudanCivilSociety on Thursday. The charges are serious and very little noise has been made, lives are at stake here as well as the entire civic space! We need to be diligent and make this court case trend.
Why this hasthtag?
It was already used in a 2012 campaign and it is an attempt to shed light on the TRACKs within the scope of the larger crackdown on civil society in Sudan.
What to tweet?
In addition to the information provided in the summary above, you will be armed with a big google drive folder with statements and articles on the case! Moreover, @ReemWrites , @TrackSudan and @Daloya will be tweeting about the court proceedings so you can just re-tweet their tweets between 12 pm to 3 pm Sudan TIME as the court is taking place.
What other materials can I tweet?
There are videos with the families of the TRACKs detainees:
1) Video with family of Khalf Allah Al-Afif and Mustafa Adam
2) Video with family of Midhat Afifi
3) Moreover, the Facebook page has videos with several actors from the Sudanese civil society on the case (you can also record your own solidarity video!)