Southern Kordofan: 14 year old kept in detention by SAF for 43 days

From: Tenth periodic report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the situation of human rights in the Sudan (28 November 2008)

A 14-year-old boy, a basic school student from Kadugli (Southern Kordofan), was arrested by SAF military intelligence officers from the 18th Brigade of the 5th Division on 5 March 2008.

Accused of having stolen a Sterling submachine gun from a SAF garrison, the boy was held for one day and night at the military barracks in a container that served as a detention cell. He was then moved to an ordinary cell, where he remained – in breach of the ICCPR 10(3) requirement for separate detention facilities for juveniles - together with a changing population of adult men, mainly soldiers, for a total of 44 days.

During his time in detention, his family brought him food on a daily basis and tried - with no avail - to persuade his guards that the boy should be turned over to police or freed. The family was never able to see the responsible commander.

On 16 March, the prosecutor directed police to transfer the boy to police custody and conduct a preliminary investigation according to Art. 47 of the 1991 Criminal Procedure Act. On 19 March, the police wrote a letter to the 18th Brigade Commander seeking the transfer of the boy. There was no response from SAF.

The boy was only freed on 17 April, two days after United Nations human rights officers raised the issue with high ranking officers at the SAF 5th Division Headquarters. On the same day, SAF also freed a 29 year-old former soldier, who had been detained for 51 days at SAF 18th Brigade in relation to the same theft case.


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