Opposition leader Faroug Abu Eisa on his way to a court session in Khartoum, 2 February 2015 (Sudan Tribune)
Faroug Abu Eisa, head of the National Consensus Forces, was transferred from Kober prison to a hospital in Khartoum on Tuesday evening, for the second time since he was detained by security forces on 6 December last year.
The spokesman for the defence team, El Muiz Hadra, told reporters that the medics of El Sahiroun Hospital decided to keep the prominent lawyer and opposition leader hospitalised.
On 23 December, a day after Abu Eisa (78) was transferred from a security detention centre to Kober prison in Khartoum North, he had to be rushed to a hospital too. His daughter Nahla Abu Eisa told the press at the time that her father had lost a lot of weight after solitary confinement for more than two weeks.
The spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in December expressed concerns about the health of Abu Eisa, and Dr Amin Mekki Madani, a prominent human rights lawyer and chairman of the Civil Society Initiative, who was detained on the same day.
“We have received information indicating that there are serious concerns about the health and safety of Dr Madani, 76 years, and Abu Eisa, 78 years. Both men require essential daily medication as they are diabetic, and Dr Madani has high blood pressure, while Abu Eisa suffers from cyanosis,” Ravina Shamdasani stressed in a press statement.
Abu Eisa, Dr Madani, and Farah El Agar, legal consultant of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, were detained inside their homes in Khartoum, after their return from Addis Ababa. Abu Eisa and Madani had signed the Sudan Appeal in the Ethiopian capital on 3 December, together with the Sudan Revolutionary Front, an alliance of the main rebel movements, and the National Umma Party. In the document, the allied opposition forces call for a peaceful regime change in Sudan.
The three detainees were held incommunicado until 22 December, when they were transferred to Kober Prison. A NISS officer notified the head of the defence team of Abu Eisa and Madani, Omar Abdelaati, that the security had filed criminal charges against them, related to “undermining the constitutional order, and violently opposing the authorities”.
Abdelaati told reporters in Khartoum on Tuesday that the prosecution is delaying the trial on purpose. They are “holding both detainees as hostages, to force the continuation of the troubled National Dialogue. The Dialogue parties could demand their release as interlocutors,” he said, stressing that the two detained lawyers “signed a political communiqué calling for regime-change and democracy, not aiming to confront the regime with an armed insurgency”.