Title: President of Sudan offers release of political detainees
Author: Radio Dabanga
Date: 02-28-2015, 04:15 PM
03:15 PM Feb, 28 2015
Radio Dabanga-Amsterdam NL
My Library at SudaneseOnline
February 27 - 2015 KHARTOUM
People demonstrate for the release of the three political detainees, on 23 February 2015 (Dabanga)
President Omar Al Bashir has demanded the apologies of the detained opposition figures Faroug Abu Eisa and Amin Mekki Madani for their violations of the criminal law, in exchange for their release. He criticised opponents who boycott the national elections in April, and denounced those seeking power “through foreign conspiracies”.
The President of Sudan made his statements to journalists in the plane flying back from the United Arab Emirates. Faroug Abu Eisa heads the National Consensus Forces, an alliance of opposition forces. Amin Mekki Madani is the chairman of the Civil Society Initiative in Sudan. They have been accused by the National Intelligence and Security Service of undermining the constitutional order and instigating war against the state, offences that carry the death penalty or life imprisonment.
The charges are based on their signing of the Sudan Appeal, together with the National Umma Party and the main rebel movements, allied in the Sudan Revolutionary Front, in Addis Ababa on 3 December. Abu Eisa, Madani, and Farah El Agar, senior consultant for the rebel SPLM-N, were detained by security officers in Khartoum on 6 December, a day after their return from the Ethiopian capital. They were later transferred to Kober Prison in Khartoum North.
President Al Bashir added that the same exchange applies for El Sadig El Mahdi, head of the Umma Party. He acknowledged that there are channels of communication with the opposition leader, who has remained abroad since the signing of the accord, but he did not provide any further details.
The president also defended the confiscation of 14 newspapers on 16 February, saying that authorities must invoke the law when media houses publish false information that creates mistrust between people and the government.
At a political rally in Wad Madani, El Gezira state, on Thursday, the president criticised his opponents who have said they will boycott the legislative and presidential elections in April. He said there was no place for those seeking power through "conspiracies or foreign allegiance, whether they meet in Addis Ababa or Paris".
He added that he would stand down if he is voted out at polls on 13 April. The National Electoral Commission has said some 14 candidates are competing with Al Bashir for the presidency, but most pose no real threat to his re-election bid.
In the meantime, the government has cracked down on the press, and confiscated a total of 14 newspapers on 16 February. Al Bashir defended the confiscation, saying that authorities must invoke the law when media houses publish false information that creates mistrust between people and the government.
(Dabanga Sudan, AFP)
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