Home | News    Thursday 15 October 2015

Bashir meets with Sudanese-American teen arrested in Texas over homemade clock

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October 14, 2015 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir met on Wednesday evening with the 14-year old Ahmed Mohamed who became a global sensation after his brief arrest by police in the U.S. state of Texas last month.

Sudanese President Omer Hassan al-Bashir (R) meeting at his Khartoum private residence with the father Mohamed al-Hassan (C), his son Ahmed Mohamed (L) October 14, 2015 (SUNA)

The staff at the school which Mohamed attended called the police on him after a clock he claimed to have put together was mistaken for a bomb.

The teenager who was described as science geek was handcuffed, fingerprinted and questioned over the hoax bomb. He was released afterwards and the police decided not to file charges.

But his arrest drew a firestorm of condemnation by those who say that his arrest was driven by Islamophobia. He garnered a flood of support from celebrities and politicians including U.S. president Barack Obama who invited him to a White House science function.

Ahmed is the son of former Sudanese presidential candidate Mohamed al-Hassan who ran unsuccessfully last April against Bashir. He was excluded from running in 2010 by the National Elections Commission (NEC) for not gathering the required number of signatures.

At the time he accused the NEC and the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) chaired by Bashir of collaborating to exclude him from the running.

"The NEC did not want me in the race under pressure from the NCP and [president] Bashir. They know I have wide support among my tribe, farmers, Sufi sects and expatriates" al-Hassan told Sudan Tribune in 2010.

"I was told that Bashir personally intervened with the [appeals] court to reject my challenge. The NCP wanted the elections on time and refused any requests for rescheduling. We heard the president [Bashir] threatening to torture any foreign observer talking about postponing the elections. Bashir got it his way," al-Hassan said.

But today al-Hassan and his son spoke graciously of Bashir who according to Sudan official news agency (SUNA) honored him in tribute to his intelligence and talent and in line with government policy of caring for gifted youngsters.

Mohamed told reporters afterwards that he is “extremely delighted” for meeting Bashir and visiting Sudan. He expressed hope that he would have the opportunity to meet again with the Sudanese president “with a new invention and success”.

Al-Hassan for his part said that talented youngsters should be cared for in Sudan so that they help “write a new [chapter in] history for an advanced and developed Sudan”.

He said that they are pleased with Bashir’s honoring of his son adding that this is not something new to president Bashir.

(ST)

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