June 30, 2013, (KHARTOUM) - The opposition Popular Congress Party (PCP) has warned today against the dangers of the proposed amendments to the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) law which allows for referring civilians to military courts?
- Defence minister Abdel-Rahim Hussein and NISS director Mohamed Atta wave to soldiers after a farewell celebration in Khartoum on 18 May 2013 (SUNA)
The PCP’s secretary of human rights Hassan Abdallah Hussein at a press conference on Sunday accused the government of exercising “selective justice” and “militarization of the judiciary” by depriving civilians of their right to appear before regular judge.
He expressed fear that security forces and police would follow suit, warning of the negative impact of those amendments on the national judiciary.
This week the Sudanese defense minister Abdel-Rahim Mohamed Hussein said that the changes were introduced after reviewing similar laws in other nations including the United States and Britain as well as most Arab states.
Hussein said these amendments will help bolster security and the SAF grip over the country.
He questioned how can a foot soldier is subject to military tribunals while those who establish militias that are waging war against the state are not.
The top military official assured that the law is supervised by the country’s top court which makes it "flexible".
Observers say that Khartoum will likely utilize this law against rebel groups and its commanders along with civilians associated with it whether in conflict zones or elsewhere.
In a separate issue, the PCP official claimed that authorities have arrested one of their members Yasser Ali Mohamed Khair, who is also a teacher, without charges.
Hussein said that Khair was arrested last Monday following his submission, along with other teachers, a memorandum to the minister of education, Muatasim Abd Al-Rahim, containing some teachers’ demands.
He appealed to the national, regional, and international human rights organizations to condemn Khair’s detention, saying that it is unconstitutional and against international conventions and norms.
The wife of the detained teacher, who was attending the press conference along with her three years old daughter, expressed concern over her husband’s health, saying she learned that his health deteriorated and was rushed to the hospital.
The PCP official also expressed regret for the cancellation of the opposition coalition National Consensus Forces (NCF) political rally by the authorities and accused the government of taking selective stances towards opposition parties, saying “authorities refused to allow the NCF political rally, while it allowed others”.
He was referring to the political rally which was held on Saturday by the religious wing of the opposition National Umma Party (NUP).