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Sudan: The Nubian Association; treatment of its members by Sudanese authorities

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 11 October 2002
Citation / Document Symbol SDN40218.E
Reference 2
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Sudan: The Nubian Association; treatment of its members by Sudanese authorities, 11 October 2002, SDN40218.E, available at: [accessed 29 May 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

In a report of a conference entitled Defending Human Rights Defenders in Sudan, organized by the Sudanese Victims of Torture (SOAT) and held in Nicosia, Cyprus from 29 April to 2 May 2000, a student provides testimony of her experience as a member of the Nubian Students Association which she also refers to as the Nubian Association (NA) (SOAT n.d.).

The student explained that following her 1998 enrolment in the University of Sudan, she joined the Nubian Association, which had over 1,000 members, and was eventually elected as its Secretary General (ibid.). She further explained that the NA's activities included a tour, in collaboration with the Environmental Reservation Society, of the Nuba area in northern Sudan where the Sudanese government planned to build a dam (ibid.). After learning of a Nubian campaign against the building of the dam in an effort to preserve the land, as well as the archaeology and historical sites, the students organized talks and meetings regarding the campaign (ibid.). Following these meetings, several events took place including the arrest of four NA students; the "beating," interrogation and detainment of the NA Secretary General; student demonstrations that resulted in arrests; and the "flogging" of Nubian Association members for their participation in traditional dancing (ibid.). The NA Secretary General was eventually dismissed from the University of Sudan and refused admission to other universities (ibid.).

Although not specifically mentioning the Nubian Association, Amnesty International's annual report for 2000 stated the following:

On 14 June [1999], 24 students were arrested and convicted by the Public Order Court on charges of committing indecent or immoral acts and wearing clothes which upset public feelings. The students were arrested at a picnic held with the permission of the University. They were convicted on the grounds that the female students were wearing shirts, trousers and T-shirts and that men and women were holding hands in the traditional Nubian dance they were performing. They were sentenced to up to 40 lashes each, and fined.

One additional reference to a Nubian Association was found on the Awards for All London Website, in which the Nubian Association is listed as a recipient of an April 2001 grant of £5,000 (14 Jan. 2002).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Amnesty International (AI). 2000. Annual Report 2000. [Accessed 8 Oct. 2002]

Awards for All London. 14 January 2002. "April 2001 Grants." [Accessed 7 Oct. 2002]

Sudanese Victims of Torture (SOAT). n.d. "Defending Human Rights Defendes in Sudan Conference." [Accessed 7 Oct. 2002]

According to its Website, SOAT was "established in 1993 in the United Kingdom ... to support, help and defend individuals who have been tortured, and to work for the exposure, reduction and eradication of torture and other human rights violations." The Khartoum office has 5 full time members of staff and 25 volunteers, in addition to a network of volunteers in five regional towns.

SOAT is a member of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), the United Nations Association, the London Rights Forum, the Coalition for an International Criminal Court and the IRCT-AMAN Network. SOAT also has strong links with Amnesty International, the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture, and the Prisoners of Conscience Appeal Fund (POC).

Additional Sources Consulted

IRB Databases


One oral source was unable to provide information on the above-mentioned topic.

Unsuccessful attempts to contact the Nuba Relief Rehabilitation and Development Organization, Sudanese Women's Voice for Peace, Sudanese Victims of Torture, and World Vision - Canada.

Internet sites including:

Africa Confidential

Africa Research Bulletin

Amnesty International (AI)

Human Rights Watch (HRW)

The Nubian Network


Nubian Relief Rehabilitation and Development Society (NRRDS)

Nubian Soul

Sudan Home

Sudan Human Rights Organization - Cairo Branch

Sudan Info Net

Sudan Net News

Sudan News Agency

Sudanese Victims of Torture

Universal Nubian Association

World Wide Nubian Organization

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Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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