SUDAN. TORTURE LANDED 10 INMATES ON DEATH ROW, LAWYERS SAY
April 6, 2008: the lives of 10 Sudanese on death row are hanging in the balance as their lawyers struggle to prove that their confessions were extracted under torture. The case has prompted concern that other capital sentences might be unsafe.
The 10 men were sentenced in November 2007 for beheading Mohammad Taha, a newspaper editor, in 2006. The difficulty with allegations of torture is overcoming the hurdles set in the way of presenting a credible case.
"Too often, prisons and courts delay medical examinations so that torture cannot be proven," said a medical doctor who works for a human rights organization. "Signs of torture disappear very quickly, and the perpetrators usually avoid leaving big scars."
In addition, for a medical examination to be admissible in court, it must be carried out by persons from a government hospital appointed by the judge in the case.
Examinations carried out by the staff of human rights organizations or independent hospitals are not acceptable. (Sources: Inter Press Service, 07/04/2008)