Bloomberg News

Amnesty International Urges Sudan to Release Detained Writer

February 24, 2012

Feb. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Amnesty International urged Sudan to release detained writer and academic Mohamed Zein al-Abbeddin, saying he’s “at risk of torture and other ill treatment.”

El-Abbeddin was detained on Feb. 20 by the National Security and Intelligence Service after he wrote an article in the closely held al-Tayar newspaper criticizing Sudanese President Umar al-Bashir, the security forces and companies owned by the ruling National Congress Party, his lawyer, Nabil Adib, said on Feb 22.

The government has brought charges against at least 10 writers and journalists since March last year for criticizing al-Bashir’s administration, he said. The security forces have closed down two independent newspapers -- Alwan and al-Rai al- Shaab -- since the start of the year, according to Adib.

El-Abbeddin, dean of the College of Higher Education at the Al Zaiem Al Azhari University in Khartoum, has been incommunicado since he was taken to the offices of NISS’s political wing four days ago, Amnesty said, citing people it didn’t identify.

“El-Abbeddin is suffering from a number of health problems, which require him to take regular medication,” the London-based advocacy group said. “His family delivered his medication to the NISS offices where they believe he is still held, but they were not allowed to see him.”

The authorities seized copies of the al-Tayar newspaper edition that carried el-Abbeddin’s article on Feb. 20 and suspended publication two days later.

--Editors: Paul Richardson, Gordon Bell.

To contact the reporter on this story: Salma El Wardany in Khartoum via Nairobi at pmrichardson@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net.


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