Scholars at Risk calls for letters on behalf of Professor Mohamed Zain Al-Abideen of Sudan

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    Scholars at Risk calls for letters on behalf of Professor Mohamed Zain Al-Abideen of Sudan
    Date: February 27, 2012

    Scholars at Risk (SAR) is gravely concerned over reports that Professor Mohamed Zain Al-Abideen, Dean of the College of Higher Education at the University of Al Zaiem Al Azhari in Omdurman, Sudan, has been arrested.  SAR asks for letters, faxes and emails respectfully urging the appropriate authorities to examine the circumstances of Professor Mohamed Zain’s arrest, disclose his whereabouts and condition, and intervene to ensure his well-being, pending his earliest release, including ensuring immediate and regular access to the legal counsel of his choosing, to family and to medical treatment.

    Scholars at Risk is an international network of over 270 universities and colleges in 34 countries dedicated to promoting academic freedom and its constituent freedoms of thought, opinion, expression, association and travel.  In cases like that of Professor Mohamed Zain, involving alleged infringement of these freedoms, Scholars at Risk intervenes hoping to clarify and resolve matters favorably.

    Scholars at Risk has received reports that, on February 20th, Professor Mohamed Zain was arrested by the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) after leaving his office at the University of Al Zaiem Al Azhari.  Reports indicate that he was arrested following the publication in the daily paper Al Tayar of an article in which he was critical of the government.  SAR understands that Professor Mohamed Zain is being held incommunicado, without access to family or legal counsel.  SAR further understands that he has several health issues for which he takes regular medication, that his family reportedly delivered his medication to the NISS offices, and that they were not permitted to visit him.

    Absent any additional or contrary information, the facts as described appear to constitute violations of internationally recognized human rights and standards of due process and detention, as guaranteed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Sudan has acceded. 

    SAR therefore joins with national and international academic associations, human rights organizations and individual scholars in respectfully urging the appropriate authorities to examine the circumstances of Professor Mohamed Zain’s arrest, disclose his whereabouts and condition, and intervene to ensure his well-being, pending his earliest release, including ensuring immediate and regular access to the legal counsel of his choosing, to family and to medical treatment.  Given the public reports surrounding Professor Mohamed Zain’s detention, SAR further urges the appropriate authorities to explain publicly the reasons for his detention or, absent this, to arrange for his earliest release. 

    Scholars at Risk invites letters, emails and faxes be sent:

    -respectfully urging the appropriate authorities to examine the circumstances of Professor Mohamed Zain’s arrest, disclose his whereabouts and condition;

    -respectfully urging the appropriate authorities to intervene to ensure Professor Mohamed Zain's well-being, pending his earliest release, including ensuring immediate and regular access to the legal counsel of his choosing, to family and to medical treatment; and

    -given the public reports surrounding Professor Mohamed Zain’s detention, respectfully urging the appropriate authorities to explain publicly the reasons for his detention or, absent this, to arrange for his earliest release. 

    PLEASE WRITE TO:

    President Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir
    Office of the President
    People's Palace
    P.O. Box 281
    Khartoum
    Sudan
    Email: info@sudan.gov.sd

    COPIES TO:

    Mohammed Bushara Dousa
    Minister of Justice
    Ministry of Justice
    P.O. Box 302
    Al Nil Avenue
    Khartoum, Sudan

    Ibrahim Mohamed Hamed
    Minister of Interior
    Ministry of Interior
    P.O. Box 873
    Khartoum, Sudan

    The Honorable Hillary R. Clinton
    United States Secretary of State
    U.S. Department of State
    2201 C Street NW
    Washington, DC  20520 USA

    The Honorable Navanethem Pillay
    United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
    Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
    Palais des Nations
    CH-1211 Geneva 10
    Switzerland

    The Honorable _________
    Ambassador of the Republic of Sudan to [YOUR COUNTRY]
    [POSTAL ADDRESS]
    [FAX]
    [EMAIL]

    The Honorable _________
    Ambassador of [YOUR COUNTRY] to the Republic of Sudan
    [POSTAL ADDRESS]
    [FAX]
    [EMAIL]

    Scholars at Risk
    New York University
    194 Mercer St., 4th floor
    New York, NY 10012 USA
    Fax: +1 212 995-4402
    scholarsatrisk@nyu.edu

    To view a model letter of appeal, as well as a copy of SAR’s letter, please visit: http://scholarsatrisk.nyu.edu/Education-Advocacy/Alerts-Scholars-in-Prison.php.