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Church of Christ in Sudan laments confiscations

May 18 - 2017 KHARTOUM
Demolished church building in Soba Aradi in south-east Khartoum (May 7, 2017)
Demolished church building in Soba Aradi in south-east Khartoum (May 7, 2017)

The Church of Christ in Sudan hays that its property has been subjected to an arbitrary campaign of confiscation by the security authorities, demolition of its premises, and the confiscation of official documents of its community leaders.

In a statement this week, the Church complains the Sudanese security apparatus confiscated a bag carrying the documents to more than 15 pieces of land belonging to the sect that have been obtained by legal action through purchase. It alleges that the confiscation was carried out “arbitrarily and without legal procedures or judicial orders”.

According to the statement, the security services also confiscated the passports of the head of the community, and returned them later, while refusing to return the passports of the Secretary-General and his deputy, the deputy chairman of the of Ambda Bureau and the director of missionary work of the community.

The statement added that these measures represent a violation of the right to freedom of movement as stipulated in the regional and international human rights charters ratified by Sudan as part of the Bill of Rights of the Constitution of the Sudan.

Harsh conditions

The statement said that over the past years the Church has gone through harsh conditions represented in the restriction of freedom of worship through the obstacles facing the community in the allocation and possession of land used for worship in all states of Sudan.

The statement considered the confiscation as a violation of article 43 of the Constitution, which prohibits the expropriation of private property only by law or public interest, with fair and immediate compensation in return; and private property shall not be confiscated only under a court order.

The statement pointed to a number of campaigns to demolish the premises of churches in Khartoum years ago, most recently last week, where the Church of Christ of Sudan in Soba Square (7) has been demolished by a force of security and land protection in the Ministry of Planning and Urban Development of Khartoum State.

The Church strongly condemned the measures, described them as arbitrary, and held the security authorities full responsibility for loss, damage or any other consequences that may result from the confiscation of documents.

The statement appealed to the national, regional and international institutions concerned with human rights and religious freedoms to intervene to put an end to these violations.

The statement also called on the Sudanese Presidency to allocate the lands held by the Church, legalise them, and grant the Church the right to procure lands in Khartoum and all the states of Sudan as one of the constitutional rights, this in addition to directing the security and intelligence authorities to return the confiscated documents of the Church.

Demolition

The demolition of a church building in Soba Aradi in south-east Khartoum on May 7 sparked international outrage.

 


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