Sudan detains eight human rights activists

Rights violations continue unabated

KHARTOUM - Sudan's powerful security service has detained eight human rights activists for more than a week, Amnesty International said Tuesday, and urged Khartoum to ensure they are not subjected to "torture".
The eight -- six men and two women -- have been held at an office of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) in the capital since May 22.
They include six staffers and a volunteer with TRACKS, a group providing training in human rights, and an official from Al-Zarqa, an organisation involved in human development.
Five of the six men are being held with 21 other detainees in one cell at the NISS prosecutor's office, while the sixth is being kept in a separate room because of health problems, Amnesty said.
The two women are "kept under guard in the reception area of the prosecutor's office during the day and sleep in one of the offices in the premises at night," it said.
"The eight have not been informed of the reasons for their arrest and have yet to be charged," the rights group said.
Calling for their immediate release, Amnesty urged the authorities to ensure that the detainees are not "subjected to torture and other ill-treatment".
It also urged that unrestricted access be given to the detainees' lawyer and families and that they be provided with medical care.
Global rights groups have regularly accused Sudan's powerful NISS of detaining rights workers and opposition politicians.
In recent days the NISS has also cracked down on students holding protests in universities.