Report on Pre-trial Justice in Sudan
African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies
Approximately three million people suspected of committing crimes across the world are held in detention for extremely long periods of time before being brought to trial. Many of those detainees suffer severe rights violations during the pre-trial period. Pre-trial detainees are often particularly vulnerable to abuse as this period typically constitutes the investigative phase of proceedings and various rights violating techniques such as torture may be invoked in order to extract information from suspects. This is also the period when detainees are most likely to be without legal representation. Prolonging the detention of those awaiting trial can constitute an offense in and of itself as many detainees, who have already suffered the loss of a job or family, acquire either mental or physical illnesses in these extensive periods of detention, which aggravate their time in isolation and their ability to reintegrate into society.
Despite consistent reports of violations committed against detainees in the pre-trial custody of police and the national security services in Sudan, the Sudanese government has made no substantive attempt to address these abuses in violation of its constitutional obligation to investigate, punish and provide remedy for such abuses. In several cases monitored by ACJPS, the government ignored reports of violations that occurred during the pre-trial detention period.
In a new report, ACJPS aims to shine a light on the failings of the administration of justice in the pre-trial period in Sudan, the lack of appropriate protection for criminal suspects and detainees and the pattern with which abuses are committed against suspects and detainees by law enforcement and security actors, and to provide recommendations as to how to address these failings.
See full report.