Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Urgent Action: Sudanese refugee faces forcible return

Muhammad Babikir Adam is being held at a General Security office in the ‘Adliyeh area of the capital Beirut. Despite his refugee status there was an attempt to deport him last week, but he refused to leave the country and was reportedly beaten. According to sources in Lebanon, General Security officials then forced him to sign with his fingerprints a document that, being illiterate, he could not read; no lawyer was present. Amnesty International does not have information about the content of the document, but fears that it is part of an attempt to forcibly return him to Sudan and make it look like he agreed to being deported.

Muhammad Babikir Adam has been detained in Lebanon since 29 January. On 11 March he was sentenced to one month’s imprisonment for violation of a deportation order. He remains detained, beyond the expiry of his sentence, while General Security reportedly prepares to deport him and 48 other Sudanese back to Sudan. Amnesty International is concerned that his conviction, sentence and resulting imprisonment may have been unlawful and in violation of international human rights law and standards concerning refugees.

Muhammad Babikir Adam is a member of the Fur ethnic group, from Darfur in western Sudan, a region which in recent years has witnessed large-scale violations of human rights and humanitarian law, including war crimes and crimes against humanity. Lebanon has international obligations not to return in any circumstances any individual to a country where they would be at risk of torture.

PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY in English, Arabic or French or your own language:
n Urging the Lebanese authorities not to forcibly return Muhammad Babikir ‘Abd al-‘Aziz Muhammad Adam to Sudan, where he would face arbitrary arrest, torture or other ill-treatment, and possibly enforced disappearance;
n Emphasizing that his removal would violate Lebanon’s obligations under the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and contravene the principle of non-refoulement, which prohibits the return in any manner whatsoever of any person to a situation where they would be at risk of torture or other grave human rights violations;
n Expressing concern at reports that he has been beaten in detention and calling on the Lebanese authorities to investigate those reports and ensure that, while held, he is protected from torture and other ill-treatment, and is granted immediate access to his family, a lawyer of his choice and adequate medical care;
n Expressing concern that his ongoing detention has no legal basis, particularly given his refugee status and the expiry of his prison sentence, and calling for his release, if this is the case. .

Michel Sleiman
Baabda Palace
Baabda, Mount Lebanon, Lebanon
Fax: + 961 5 959 210/922 400
Salutation: Your Excellency

Minister of Interior
Ziyad Baroud
Beirut, Lebanon
Fax: + 961 1 751 618/750 084
Salutation: Your Excellency

And copies to:
Minister of Justice
Ibrahim Najjar
Rue Sami Solh, Beirut, Lebanon
Fax: + 961 1 612 564/427 975
Salutation: Your Excellency

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives of Lebanon accredited to your country. Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.

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