Sudan Physicians Committee protests against ‘burial of unidentified bodies’
The Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors has denounced the decision of the Sudanese Attorney General to bury unidentified bodies in morgues without recording forensic details.
“We have seen in the media that the Attorney General of the Republic of Sudan has ordered the burial of unidentified bodies piled up in morgues, which constitutes a dangerous deviation from the protocols and applicable laws in this matter”, the CCSD said in a press release yesterday.
“Given the human rights violations committed by the coup authorities and in particular the interaction of the judicial system with the victims of the revolution and its martyrs, we read this as an attempt to bury the irrefutable evidence of the systematic assassination by the country’s armed forces and a destruction of justice,” the statement read.
“The revolution, since its inception in December 2018, has continuously witnessed attempts to cloud justice and protect perpetrators of violence and extrajudicial executions.
The Physicians’ Committee demands that “In order to preserve the rights of the unidentified dead to dignity and justice, a number of measures and procedures must be taken.”
Each body should have a separate file, containing a completed Form 8* or official death certificate, details of who delivered the body and those who received it at the morgue the staff member who received the body, and time and date of receipt, as well as forensic evidence such as photos of the body and description of general and distinguishing marks, fingerprints, DNA sample and morphological images of teeth.
Only in this way can “the rights and dignity of all unidentified people inside morgues be preserved, with respect for all religious and humanitarian norms and teachings, and with respect for the rights of human rights and international humanitarian law relating to the rights of unidentified bodies”. the statement concludes.
During protest actions and demonstrations, but also during house searches, Sudanese activists and demonstrators against the regime of Omar Al Bashir or the military junta are often detained and taken to unknown places. Many were later found by relatives or lawyers in holding cells, others must have gone missing.
Following the brutal attack of the large sit-in in front of the army command in the center of Khartoum on June 3, 2019, during which more than 127 people were killed. At least 40 bodies were found floating in the Nile.
In August of the same year, Radio Dabanga reported that more than 100 Sudanese were still missing after what became known as the June 3 massacre.
Two months later, the CCSD accused several hospital morgues of providing misleading information to families of missing protesters. Hospital staff reportedly denied that bodies were present in morgues when in fact they were there.
Under the civilian-led transitional government led by Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok, the Attorney General set up a Missing Persons Investigation Committee in late 2020, to investigate those missing since the start of the revolution of December 2018, following the discovery of a mass grave in Khartoum. . It was said at the time that the mass grave may contain the bodies of some of those considered missing following the June 3 massacre.
The mortuary director at Omdurman University Hospital was detained and charged with making false statements and concealing offenses in January the following year. In February, the committee visited the morgue of Wad Madani University Hospital in El Gezira, where 168 unidentified bodies were found.
On the occasion of the International Day of Victims of Enforced Disappearances on August 30, the Sudanese Resistance Committees have decided to dedicate the March of the Millions scheduled for today to “disappeared and forcibly disappeared persons”.
* In Sudan, medical evidence of an assault is admitted only through the so-called Form 8 – which can only be issued by police stations or approved hospitals and clinics. Critics say Form 8 is “grossly inadequate” because it is often very difficult to obtain sufficient medical evidence.