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Concerns increase for health of human rights defender Bushra Gamar Hussein Rahma

04.10.11

Concerns are growing for the health of Bushra Gamar Hussein Rahma, aged 47, a well known human rights activist in Sudan, arrested on 25 June 2011 in Omdurman, who has now been on hunger strike in an unknown place of detention since 26 September. He is believed to be held, by the national security and intelligence services, in the political section of Kober Prison in Khartoum North, but he has not been allowed to receive any visitors for the past three weeks.

Bushra Gamar, an X-Ray technician, comes from Talodi in the Nuba Mountains and his arrest in June was thought to be connected to events in South Kordofan, where the Sudanese Armed Forces and their militias have attacked local residents perceived to be supporters of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), forcing some 200,000 people to flee from the area. Bushra Gamar was the founder and Executive Director of the Human Rights Development Organization (HUDO) in South Kordofan. He was a representative of the SPLM in Darfur from 2005-6; before that he had been Director of SUDO in Nyala in Darfur.

President Omar al-Bashir of the Republic of Sudan ordered an amnesty for political detainees on 12 July 2011 but Bushra Gamar, like many others, was not released. He was kept in detention even after a judge ordered his release.

Bushra Gamar is said by his family to suffer from heart and blood problems; in secret detention, his state of health is not known and is causing great anxiety.

Recommendations

SUDO (UK) believes that Bushra Gamar Hussein Rahma continues to be detained because of his legitimate activities in defence of human rights and calls for his immediate release.

SUDO (UK) calls for Bushra Gamar Hussein Rahma to have immediate access to an independent doctor. The national security and intelligence must inform his family and lawyer of his whereabouts at once and they should be able to make frequent and regular visits.

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