Mudawi Ibrahim Adam

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Mudawi Ibrahim Adam
Born 1956
Nationality Sudanese
Occupation Mechanical Engineer, Assistant Professor at the University of Khartoum, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering
Organization Sudan Social Development Organization
Known for human rights activist
Awards Front Line Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk (2005)
Human Rights First Award (2005)

Mudawi Ibrahim Adam (born 1956)[1] is a Sudanese human rights activist and engineer known for his role in exposing human rights violations in Darfur.[2] He is the founder and former director of the Sudan Social Development Organization (SUDO) and has been repeatedly jailed for charges related to his human rights work.[3]

Work with SUDO and early arrests[edit]

Under Mudawi's leadership, SUDO began work in bringing the War in Darfur to the world's attention in 2003.[4] Along with their human rights reporting, SUDO also initiated water, sanitation and health projects in the area, along with local workshops on human rights and assistance for internally displaced persons.[2] For this work, Mudawi was awarded the 2005 Human Rights First Award[5] and the 2005 Front Line Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk.[6]

Mudawi was arrested at his home in December 2003 after a visit to Darfur. He was charged with "crimes against the state", with the evidence against him including possession of documents from Amnesty International.[7] This charge carried the possibility of being sentenced to death, but the government dropped its case in August 2004.[8]

At 2 a.m. on 24 January 2005, Mudawi was re-arrested at his home in Kondua, North Kurdufan, along with a friend, Salah Mohamed Abdelrahman.[7] Mudawi was then held for two months without a formal charge, during which time he began a hunger strike in protest.[7] His arrests were widely protested by groups including Human Rights Watch,[9] Front Line,[6] Amnesty International,[7] and the Irish government.[10] He was eventually released without being brought to trial.[4] By 2006, Mudawi's role had become prominent enough that New York Times reporter Nicholas Kristof described him as "one of the leading human rights advocates in Sudan".[11] In 2007, he attended a conference in Prague organized by Natan Sharansky, Václav Havel, and José María Aznar, where he met with dissident figures from around the world as well as US President George W. Bush.[12]

Closing of SUDO and 2010 arrests[edit]

On 5 March 2009, the same day that President Omar al-Bashir was indicted by the ICC for crimes against humanity, the Sudanese government ordered the closure of SUDO, and its offices were taken over by state security forces.[13] The New York Times reported that the letter closing the offices "came from the Humanitarian Affairs Commission, which is run by Ahmed Haroun, one of the people facing an arrest warrant from the International Criminal Court for mass slaughter in Darfur."[13] Mudawi and the organization appealed their closure in court, winning the appeal in April 2010.[4][6] However, according to a 2011 SUDO press release, the organization remained effectively closed: "in Sudan you can win a case but nothing changes. SUDO’s offices remained locked, its assets remained frozen, and the organization in Sudan was not allowed to resume operations."[4]

At the same time, Mudawi faced repeated trials for "financial mismanagement" of SUDO's resources.[4] He was initially acquitted of these charges on 5 March 2010, but the case's judge, Abdel Monim Mohammed Saleim, reversed the acquittal on 22 December, re-imprisoning Mudawi.[3] He was sentenced to "one year imprisonment and a fine of 3,000 Sudanese pounds (USD 1,250) for financial mismanagement."[3] Mudawi was released on 25 January with notice that the time he had served had been sufficient; however, as of January 2011, the charges against him remained, and Amnesty International continued to consider him a prisoner of conscience.[3]


  1. ^ "Detention of Dr Mudawi Ibrahim Adam". Sudan Tribune. 16 February 2005. Retrieved 18 May 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "Dr. Mudawi Ibrahim Adam". United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Retrieved 24 April 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Further information on UA 266/10 (23 December 2010) – Prisoner of conscience/Unfair trial" (PDF). Amnesty International. 27 January 2011. Retrieved 24 April 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Murky Justice: After release of SUDO chair, appeal against conviction must be allowed and SUDO permitted to operate normally". Sudan Social Development Organization. 26 January 2011. Retrieved 24 April 2011. 
  5. ^ "Previous Award Honorees". Human Rights First. 2010. Retrieved 24 April 2011. 
  6. ^ a b c Jim Loughran. "Sudan – Human rights defender Dr Mudawi Ibrahim Adam imprisoned in latest clampdown on human rights defenders and civil society activists.". Front Line. Retrieved 24 April 2011. 
  7. ^ a b c d "UA 47/05 Detention without charge/Fear for safety/Prisoner of conscience/Possible prisoner of conscience" (PDF). Amnesty International. 24 February 2005. Retrieved 24 April 2011. 
  8. ^ Amnesty International (2005), Report 2005 (accessed 25 September 2006)
  9. ^ "Sudan: Rights Defenders in Darfur Detained". Human Rights Watch. 8 March 2004. Retrieved 24 April 2011. 
  10. ^ Micheál Martin (23 December 2010). "Minister Martin calls for the release of Sudanese human rights defender, Dr. Mudawi Ibrahim Adam". Department of Foreign Affairs. Retrieved 24 April 2011. 
  11. ^ Nicholas Kristof (20 November 2006). "How To Help Darfur". New York Times. Retrieved 24 April 2011. 
  12. ^ Natan Sharansky (11 June 2007). "Dissidents of the world unite". New York Times. Retrieved 24 April 2011. 
  13. ^ a b Nicholas Kristof (5 March 2009). "Sudan closes a domestic aid group". New York Times. Retrieved 24 April 2011. 

See also[edit]