Sudan: Professor Faces Capital Charges, Order to Release on Bail Cancelled

May 17, 2017

On May 11, 2017, Dr. Mudawi Ibrahim was charged with undermining the constitutional system and waging war against the State – both charges that potentially carry the death penalty.

Dr Mudawi Ibrahim is an internationally recognized human rights defender who was the winner of the inaugural 2005 Front Line Defenders Award for human rights defenders. Ibrahim is a Professor of Engineering at the University of Khartoum and runs his own engineering company. He is also the founder and Chairman of the Sudan Social Development Organization (SUDO).


First Deputy State Prosecutor of Sudan, Abdallah Othman Abdallah, issued this decision on May 11, 2017. Abdallah stated that the National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISS) had captured the Professor, on charges of espionage, of working within a network and criminal organization against the State and in favor of foreign embassies in Khartoum. Ibrahim has also been accused of supporting armed movements in Darfur and fabricating information about the use of chemical weapons and genocide attempts against civilians by the Sudanese government – all to sabotage the image of the State to exert international pressure on Sudan and undermine the constitutional order.





Mudawi Ibrahim was arrested by NISS on December 7, 2016 from the University of Khartoum with his long-time driver, Adam El Sheikh Mukhtar. NISS did not notify Dr. Mudawi’s family that he was in custody until one week after his arrest. Nora Abaid, an accountant at Dr. Mudawi’s engineering company, Lambda Engineering, is also detained. She was detained on December 12, 2016 by plain-clothes NISS officers in an unmarked car. She has received one family visit, following which there were concerns over her psychological well-being.

NISS officials interrogated the three detainees twice during the initial week of their respective detentions and have not questioned them since. The reason for their arrest and detention remains unclear.

According to Human Rights Watch, on January 13, 2017, two of Dr. Mudawi’s brothers were allowed a very short meeting supervised by the NISS. Family again visited Dr. Mudawi on January 27 and persuaded him to temporarily abandon his hunger strike for the benefit of his health and to allow the family to make representations on his behalf to national institutions. Dr. Mudawi agreed, though stated he would commence an open-ended hunger strike on February 2 unless the authorities issued formal charges or released him. The deadline has passed and Dr. Mudawi has started his second hunger strike. Dr. Mudawi suffers from a long-standing heart condition thereby increasing the risks and dangers associated with a hunger strike. The family were allowed access again on February 9, one week after the commencement of his hunger strike. They noted he was incredibly weak and was consequently visited by a prison doctor on February 5. The doctor took his blood pressure, which was low and decreasing. The family have demanded that Dr. Mudawi be granted access to his own doctor.

Former detainees’ report that Dr. Mudawi has suffered torture at the hands of security officials. A source reports that Dr. Mudawi was chained to a cooling system in an isolated part of Kober Prison, his hands and feet bound together, and beaten by members of the security forces over several days. Individuals reported that Dr. Mudawi was beaten on January 22 and 23.


Endangered Scholars Worldwide is gravely concerned over the detention of Dr Mudawi Ibrahim. ESW calls for letters, emails, and faxes respectfully urging authorities in Sudan to investigate the situation, to ensure Ibrahim well-being while in custody, to ensure that any charges or convictions related to Ibrahim’s peaceful exercise of protected human rights are lifted, and that in the interim, his case is addressed in a manner consistent with internationally recognized standards of due process, fair trial and detention, in accordance with Sudan’s obligations under international law.



Please send appeals to:


His Excellency Lt. Omar Hassan Ahmad Al-Bashir
President of the Republic of Sudan
President's Palace
P.O. Box 281


Fax: +249 183 783 223

His Excellency Mohamed Boshara Dosa
Minister of Justice and Attorney General
Ministry of Justice 
P.O. Box 302

Al Nil Avenue 

Fax: +249 183 78 07 96/ +249 183 770883 

His Excellency Ambassador Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman 
Permanent Representative to the United Nations
Permanent Mission of the Republic of Sudan to the United Nations in Geneva 
Avenue Blanc 47

1202 Geneva

Fax: +41 22 731 26 56 
Email: /



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