We Did It! A Victory for VAWA
Mohamed Zain Al-Abideen, the Dean of the College of Higher Education at the University of Al Zaiem Al Azhari in Omdurman, was arrested on 20 February by National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) agents after leaving his office at the university campus. He was taken to the NISS headquarters, where he was interrogated for an hour and a half about an article he wrote, in which he criticized Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir on the issue of government corruption and nepotism. Mohamed Zain Al-abideen was subsequently transferred to Kober Prison in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum. He was detained for 15 days in a 2m x 2.5m cell, with no access to a lawyer or contact with his family. He was released on 4 March without charge.
Georges Moubayed, a jeweller aged 62, was abducted after leaving his house in the Jaramana district of the Syrian capital Damascus on 10 January 2012. It was not known where he was being held, and on 12 January, his family received a phone-call in which he said he had been shot in the leg. The abductors demanded a ransom of 30 million Syrian Lira (about $500,000) for his release. He was released at the end of January 2012. There is currently no other information regarding the conditions surrounding his detention or release.
Sudanese student Taj Alsir Jaafar was released without charge on 23 February 2012 after being detained by the Sudanese National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) for almost two months. It is believed he was arrested for participating in student protests, including a peaceful sit-in at Khartoum University.
Faustin Ndikumana, President of the Burundian organization Words and Action for the Awakening of Conscience and the Evolution of Mindsets (PARCEM), was released on 21 February, after two weeks in custody. He was also fined 1,000,000 Burundian francs ($775 US). He had alleged that magistrates bribe officials in the Ministry of Justice to secure appointment.