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From our colleagues in the Office of Public Witness
Ask the State Department to Deny Entry to Dr. Nafie Ali Nafie
In 1989, Farouk Mohammed Ibrahim, a former science professor at the University of Khartoum, was arrested for his outspoken criticism of the Sudanese government. For twelve days, he was held in one of Sudan’s notorious “ghost houses,” where he was interrogated and tortured. “I was tortured, beaten and flogged in his presence,” Ibrahim toldLA Times reporter Edmund Sanders in 2008. “He was administering the whole thing. He did it all in such a cool manner, as if he were sipping a coffee.”
The “bad cop” who oversaw the torture of Ibrahim and countless other dissidents in his six years as head of Sudan’s intelligence and security apparatus, was Nafie Ali Nafie. Today, Nafie is the top advisor to Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir and Vice President of Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party. He was identified by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court as one of a handful of senior Sudanese officials responsible for recruiting members of the Janjaweed militia and using them to exterminate opponents in Darfur. And now, he’s planning to visit the United States … unless we speak out.
Nafie is to be part of a high-level Sudanese delegation invited to Washington for talks. But if US immigration lets him into the country, it will do so in spite of a 2011 Presidential Proclamation that prohibits the admission of “any alien who … participated in … war crimes, crimes against humanity or other serious violations of human rights.” There is no need for this. If the US government feels that it is important to talk with Nafie, there would be plenty of opportunities to do so outside the United States without having to turn a blind eye to Nafie’s human rights record or appearing to give legitimacy to his actions.
What you can do:
Please write to Secretary of State John Kerry today to ask the State Department to uphold the President’s promise and to deny entry to perpetrators of gross human rights violations such as Nafie Ali Nafie. You may wish to adapt the suggested text below. You can also find more information on Nafie’s record and the significance of his visit in a recent article in the Atlantic magazine.