Friday, April 12, 2024

Sudan Tribune

Plural news and views on Sudan

Sudanese authorities free eight Islamists

KHARTOUM, Aug 12 (AFP) — Sudanese authorities have freed eight out of more than 40 members of the Popular Congress who were still detained despite a government pledge to release all political prisoners last month, the Islamist opposition group said on Friday.

“No charges have been filed against the detainees and the authorities even stopped short of explaining why they had released some of them,” party legal affairs secretary Kamal Omar told AFP.

He said that the eight men who were freed on Thursday included one, Mustafa Abdullah Abbeker, who had been in custody for two years.

The detainees had been on hunger strike for 12 days before ending it during the deadly riots that followed the death in a helicopter crash earlier this month of southern former rebel leader and first vice president John Garang, Omar said.

He said his party was demanding “the release or trial” of the remaining detainees, arguing that they “should not be in prison for no reason”.

“I am planning to go on Saturday to the constitutional court to speed up response to an appeal we have previously made for the release of the detainees,” he added.

In an address in June marking the anniversary of the 1989 coup that brought him to power, President Omar al-Beshir had promised: “All political detainees will be released.”

On June 30, Popular Congress leader Hassan al-Turabi was freed, 15 months after his arrest in connection with an alleged coup plot.

But caretaker justice minister Ali Mohamed Osman Yassin later clarified that other members of the party still in custody would only be freed if they had been detained under the state of emergency, which was lifted on July 9.

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