(UPDATE 16 Apr.) - At least 43 political detainees are still in prison in Sudan, despite promises by President Omar Al Bashir to facilitate a national dialogue by releasing them.
The detainees include dozens of students, arrested during protest action against the rise of fuel and food prices in September 2013.
The Chairman of the Solidarity Committee of the Prisoners, Sadiq Yousif, called on the Khartoum government for their immediate release or a fair trial. He described the health situation of some of the prisoners as very serious or even critical.
“Some are in urgent need of artificial limbs, or the extraction of lead bullets from their bodies,” he told Radio Dabanga. Yousif also condemned the detention of University professor Dr Prof Siddiq Nourain together with Abas Bashir Adam, a student at the Islamic University. Both have been detained since last November.
Mohamed Adam Juma, a student of the University of the Koran, and Salahidin Abdulah Haroon of Ahlia University, have been in detention since December.
In several other cities in Sudan, including Nyala and Port Sudan, students are still being detained at locations unknown to their families. “At least ten demonstrators have been in Dar es Salaam prison in Omdurman since last September. Others were already released on bail, including 13 minors.” The chairman warned especially for the continuing trials of protesters detained in Khujalab in Bahri. At least 30 of them are still in prison.
He reminded the government of the right of demonstration. He urged that they release those who were arrested last week in Omdurman after they protested the shortage of water. His committee wants the government to cancel all laws restricting the freedom of demonstration. He mentioned especially that the Security Act should be reviewed.
On Tuesday, Bahri Court heard two witnesses brought by the prosecutor against the 30 detainees from the Khojalab protest September last year. Amal Hussein, one of the defence lawyers, said after the Court heard the witnesses, the case was adjourned until the next Court session. “After that the prosecutor will rest his case and the Judge will decide whether he has found sufficient evidence to continue with the trial. Otherwise he will hear the detainees.”
“The Defence is expecting that the court will release the Khojalab detainees immediately as the prosecutors have failed to provide such evidence,” their lawyer told radio Dabanga.
On Tuesday, the Military Court in El Obeid released a student, Said Mohamed El Awad, one of ten arrested during the invasion by SRF rebels in Abu Karshola in North Kordofan, in November 2013.
Like the other nine people charged, the economics student of the University of Khartoum was charged for breaching the constitution, a charge that could carry the death sentence.
Lawyer Osman Hassan Saleh told Radio Dabanga that the court released him immediately, while the others are awaiting a verdict later this week. The civilians are all from the Nuba Mountains and Darfur. It was one of the first cases in which civilians started to be tried for a military court. The civilians are accused of sympathising with the rebel SRF. The names of the nine still under arrest are: Mubarak Ishaq, Assadiq Badredin Ahmed, Amar Adam Abab, Ibrahim Eissa, Muhojadin Ibrahim, Juma Badawi Juma, Hashim Suleiman, Faroukh Kagu and Ibrahim Mohamed.
File photo by Albert Gonzand#225;lez Farran / Unamid