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Sudan: Govt Arrests Top Bashir Critic
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May 17, 2010 - 8:38:33 AM

Sudan: Govt Arrests Top Bashir Critic

17 May 2010

The government of President Omar al-Bashir in Khartoum has again arrested Bashir's former ally, the Islamist leader, Hassan al-Turabi.

The Sudan Tribune reports from Khartoum that the government accused Turabi of "stirring up hatred, disseminating malicious lies and abuse of Sudan’s foreign relations."

The online news service said the arrest, on Saturday, came as the government closed Ray Alsha’ab, a newspaper close to Turabi's Popular Congress Party (PCP), after it published a report saying Iran had erected a weapons factory in Sudan to supply Islamic insurgents in Africa and the Middle East.

The Tribune reported an information ministry official, Rabie Abdelati, as saying on television: "I do not see any separation between the arrest of the Secretary-General of the Popular Congress Party, Dr. Hassan Al-Turabi and the closure of Ray Alsha’ab."

Rabie likened the newspaper's "unjust and false accusations" to those which led to a United States missile strike on a pharmaceutical factory in August 1998. The U.S. suggested at the time that the factory had been housing chemical weapons.

Initially an ally after Bashir came to power in a coup in 1989, Turabi fell out with the military leader 10 years later. The Tribune reported that he has been detained five times since the fall-out. He has supported the execution of an arrest warrant for Bashir issued by the International Criminal Court.

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