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‘El Mahdi detention purely political’: followers

May 22 - 2014 OMDURMAN

The Ansar Affairs Association, the body of followers of Imam El Sadig El Mahdi, is mobilising its supporters in Sudan for peaceful protests against the detention of the imam and leader of the National Umma Party (NUP). El Mahdi was detained on Saturday evening by the Sudanese National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) and taken to Khartoum North’s Kober prison.

The NISS accuses the NUP leader of “disrespecting the prestige of the state, discrediting the regular armed forces, inciting the international community against Sudan”, and spreading false news, “causing unrest among the regular troops, and breaching public peace”.

El Mahdi strongly denounced the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), commanded by the NISS, and accused the militias of committing war crimes in Darfur, recruiting non-Sudanese nationals, and operating beyond the scope of the regular armed troops.

In an interview with Radio Dabanga on Wednesday, Abdel Mahmoud Abo, the secretary-general of the Ansar Affairs Association, described the detention of the NUP leader as “purely political”. “The legal aspect is exploited to keep him detained as long as possible.”

According to Abo, “influential government bodies affected by El Mahdi’s approach to achieve a peaceful transition by democratic means are behind the detentuion, which is also intended to silence the voice of truth by putting the imam behind bars at this critical phase.”

The secretary-general stressed that “the Association has sent messages to the Ansar and democracy loving people in all parts of Sudan to prepare for supporting and protecting the imam by all lawful means. We intend to use all our constitutional rights by pressuring the regime to release Imam Sadig El Mahdi, and abolish the freedoms restricting laws of the country. We will continuously be organising demonstrations, sit-ins and other acts of civil disobedience to peacefully achieve a democratic transformation in Sudan.

Intimidation

The defence team of El Mahdi has stated that the intimidation by RSF commanders against the detained NUP leader negatively affects the course of justice. The spokesman for the defence, lawyer Ali Giloub said in a statement on Wednesday that the threats by RSF field commander, Brig. Mohamed Hamdan ‘Hemeti’, uttered during a press conference some days ago are negatively affecting the El Mahdi’s right to have a fair trial. “What Hemeti said was provocative and creates an aggressive atmosphere”.

Giloub called for the immediate release of El Sadig El Mahdi, “now the investigation has been completed”."

RSF field commander, Brig. Mohamed Hamdan ‘Hemeti’ had last week welcomed the three RSF brigades stationed around Khartoum. In a press conference, he warned those “who criticise us. They will meet our bullets.”

File photo: Imam El Sadig El Mahdi amidst his Ansar in Omdurman (Namaa Faisal)

Related:

Press 'warned' in Sudan (21 May 2014)

Detained El Mahdi warns of unrest in Sudan (19 May 2014)

 


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