ProtectDefenders.eu has learned with deep sadness the killing of the Sudanese human rights defender and lawyer Ahmed Mohamed Abdella. Over the past three months, six human rights defenders were killed in El Geneina, West Darfur. In April 2023, ProtectDefenders.eu expressed its concerns regarding the degradation of the situation in Sudan and the risk of attacks on HRDs.
Ahmed Mohamed Abdella was a Sudanese human rights defender and lawyer who provided legal aid to victims of human rights violations. He was also a member of the Darfur Bar Association, an organisation of Sudanese lawyers established in 1995. The association received the 2020 Democracy Award for supporting and providing legal aid to victims of human rights violations in Darfur.
On 4 August 2023, the human rights defender Ahmed Mohamed Abdella was killed. His body was found on the Nyala-El-Fasher road less than 24 hours after he was kidnapped and tortured. His neighbour Adam Omer Jad Elrab, who used to work with the International Medical Corps (IMC) in Darfur, was also found dead. Both men had severe torture marks on their bodies.
On 4 August 2023, shortly before discovering the killing of the human rights defender Ahmed Mohamed Abdella, members of his family reportedly went to the headquarters of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) armed group to inquire about the kidnapping. One of the leaders of the RSF responded that the RSF was not responsible for kidnapping Ahmed Mohamed Abdella and his neighbour, but that the kidnapping was carried out by members of irregular armed groups.
On 3 August 2023, the human rights defender was kidnapped along with his neighbour, Adam Omer Jad Elrab. The kidnapping was carried out by a group of unknown armed individuals who were driving a pickup van near the human rights defender’s house in Hay Elrehman in Nyala, South Darfur. The perpetrators called the human rights defender’s family on the same day he was kidnapped and asked for a ransom of SDG 30 million to release him.
At least six human rights defenders have been killed in Darfur since the eruption of the war in Sudan on 14 April 2023. Human rights defenders in Sudan are exposed to enormous risks as the warring parties have not complied with the Jeddah Declaration of Commitment to Protect the Civilians of Sudan, which they signed on 11 May 2023. This agreement recognises the obligations of both sides under international humanitarian and human rights law to facilitate humanitarian action to meet the emergency needs of civilians.
As a consequence of the spread of armed groups in Darfur, human rights defenders and activists are in severe danger as a result of their work. Over the past three months, six human rights defenders Abd Elrazeg Adam Mohammed, Tareg Hassan Yagoub Elmalik, El Sadeg Mohammed Ahmed Haroun, Mohammed Ahmed Kudia, Khamis Arabab and Khidir Sulieman Abdelmageed were killed in El Geneina, West Darfur.