Missing female Sudanese rights activist found beaten in street

Sudan Tribune

April 15, 2015 (KHARTOUM) – A female Sudanese activist was found badly beaten at a street in Khartoum after going missing for several days.

Sandra Farouk Kadouda

Sandra Farouk Kadouda arrived safely at her home in al-Taif suburb, east of Khartoum in a state of extreme fatigue with a dislocation in her right shoulder apparently due to severe beating.

The 31-year-old activist has yet to speak publicly about the circumstances surrounding her mysterious disappearance.

She did stop by however at the police station in order to obtain what is known as Form No. 8 which is a legal requirement that would enable her to verify and document physical injuries while receiving treatment in the hospital.

The daughter of the late communist figure, Farouk Kadouda, was forcibly taken from her car by a group of unidentified men in Sudan’s twin capital city of Omdurman on Sunday.

She was reportedly on her way to an opposition sit-in at the National Umma Party (NUP) headquarters.

Her car was found abandoned nearby with the keys still in the ignition and her phone was switched off.

Kadouda’s family filed a criminal case, alleging she was kidnapped by the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS), but the latter denied taking her into custody and said they had no record of her detention.

Her family then hired attorney Amal al-Zain to submit a petition to Sudan’s Human Rights Commission (HRC) demanding an inquiry with the NISS into her disappearance since Sunday.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Zain called on the NISS to reveal Kadouda’s whereabouts and either charge her with an offence or release her immediately.

Dozens of activists gathered in front of the HRC premises during the submission of the petition holding banners calling for her immediate release but they were attacked by an NISS force leading to fist-fight between the two sides.

Media reports in Khartoum on Wednesday quoted an NISS media officer as denying any arrests among activists who called for a poll boycott, describing the claims as rumours seeking to justify failure of the election boycott campaign launched by the opposition.

On Monday, Kadouda’s family made an appeal in which they stated that she suffers from chronic reactive hypoglycemia which causes fainting spells and requires a special diet and medical attention.

They called upon local and international civil society organisations to press for her immediate release, saying she is a mother of two kids who are in dire need of her.

Amnesty International (AI) issued an urgent action note on Wednesday, saying that “Sandara Farouq Kadouda, a mother of two, a medical doctor and political activist was taken by suspected members of NISS on 12 April and her whereabouts remain unknown”.

“Shortly after 5pm (local time) her car was stopped in Omdurman by a group of men in plainclothes, suspected to belong to the NISS. They violently took her mobile phone while she was talking to a friend, who overheard shouting as Sandara Farouq Kadouda asked someone about their identity card. Soon after the phone was switched off. Her car was found 30 minutes later abandoned on the street with the keys still inside,” the UK-based rights group said.

According to AI, Kadouda’s family reported the incident to the police, but the NISS refused to disclose any details on her whereabouts and condition. She was also denied access to a lawyer or her family.

It added that it remained unclear whether Kadouda had been granted access to medical care, adding there were fears the activist was at risk of torture and other ill-treatment.

AI called for appeals to be sent to the Sudanese president, justice minister and interior minister, expressing concern over Kadouda’s enforced disappearance and urged authorities to immediately disclose her whereabouts and inform her family.

It further called on authorities to ensure that Kadouda is not tortured or otherwise ill-treated, and is given prompt access to a lawyer of her choice, family and medical attention.


AI also said it had received numerous reports of an NISS crackdown on activities of political opposition groups since the start of Sudan’s elections campaign in February 2015.

“At least 15 political activists were arrested by NISS agents on 12 April,” it said.

The NISS enjoys broad powers of arrest and detention under the 2010 national security act, which allows suspects to be detained for up to four-and-a-half months without a judicial review.

“NISS officials often use these powers to arbitrarily arrest and detain individuals, and subject them to torture and other forms of ill-treatment,” said AI

Under the 2010 act, AI said NISS agents are also provided with protection from prosecution for any act committed in the course of their work, even when human rights violations occur, saying this has resulted in a pervasive culture of impunity.