The Sudan Victims of Torture Group (SVTG) has confirmed that 19 more human beings were the victims of “cross amputation” (amputation of right hand and left foot) yesterday, February 1, 2001, in Khartoum’s Kobar prison. Their press release is attached.
Eric Reeves [February 2, 2001]
Northampton, MA 01063
Either the world responds to this savagery, or it will certainly continue. Canada has led the way with a demarche issued to the Sudanese charge d’affaires in Ottawa and through their embassy in Khartoum. But the Khartoum regime will continue to flout its obligations under international agreements and conventions (to which it is in several instances a formal party) unless there is concerted pressure from other countries.
Nor should the larger political implications of this resumption of “cross amputation” be ignored. The hard-liners in the Khartoum regime are evidently determined to make a blunt statement about the peace process: “There will be no separation of state and religion under this regime.”
Since it is precisely this issue that has consistently proved the stumbling block in ending Sudan immensely destructive civil war, the message is really that the regime feels no pressure to negotiate peace. With oil revenues provided by Talisman Energy and its Greater Nile project partners insulating the regime economically and diplomatically, it has become all the more difficult to bring Khartoum to negotiate in good faith.
Sudanese Victims of Torture Group Press Release
Friday February, 2nd, 2001
Sudan Victims of Torture Group has received confirmed information from Khartoum that the Government of Sudan has completed the amputation sentences against the 19 men referred to in our previous press release [January 30, 2001].
The amputations occurred yesterday, Thursday 1 February, 2001 in Kober prison. Sudan’s penal code, which is based upon the government’s interpretation of Shari’a (Islamic law), includes penalties such as limb amputation, death and death followed by crucifixion. The sentence for armed robbery, according to Article 174 of the 1991 Criminal Act, is cross amputation, i.e., amputation of right hand and left leg.
It is believed that most of the men did not receive a fair trial: there was not enough evidence to convict them and the usual judicial procedures were not followed properly. According to their lawyers, an appeal was rejected by the highest court with jurisdiction on this matter, the Constitutional Court.
Once again, SVTG would like to emphasis its concern that the Government of Sudan has once again resumed the punishment of amputation. This punishment is against the Government of Sudan’s international obligations, with regard to article 5 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and article 7 of The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states; Article 5. No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states in Article 7: “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. In particular no one shall be subjected without his free consent to medical or scientific experimentation.”
The use of amputation as a punishment is also prohibited under the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which has also been ratified by Sudan.
SVTG calls upon individual governments and the international community to exert pressure on the Government of Sudan to,
*Immediately stop the inhuman practise of amputation and observe its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
*Abolish the use of amputation as a method of punishment, which is enacted within the Sudanese Criminal Act 1991.
*Ensure the physical and psychological integrity of all prisoners in Sudan.
*Ensure in all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with national laws and international human rights standards, particularly the Convention Against Torture, which has been ratified by Sudan.
Sudan Victims of Torture Group is a registered UK charity and international human rights organisation, established in the UK in 1993. If you have any questions about this or any other SVTG information, please contact us:
Sudan Victims of Torture Group
The Park Business Centre
Kilburn Park Road
London NW6 5LF
Tel: 020 7625 8055
Fax: 020 7372 2656