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EU welcomes pardon, release of Dr Mudawi

August 31 - 2017 KHARTOUM
File photo
File photo

The European Union (EU) has welcomed the decree on Tuesday by Sudan’s President Omar Al Bashir to pardon and release human rights defender Dr Mudawi Ibrahim along with five other detainees. Dr Mudawi was released on Tuesday night. At time of publishing, lawyers are currently negotiating the process for the release of his co-accused Hafez Idris El Doma and four others also included in the pardon.

A statement issued by the spokesman of the High Representative/Vice-President of the EU delegation to Sudan, Federica Mogherini last night welcomed Dr Mudawi’s release and urges Sudan to further progress.

“The presidential pardoning of six Sudanese human rights activists, including Dr Ibrahim Mudawi and Hafiz Idris, detained since December 2016, is a step in the right direction. The European Union expects this to be followed by further steps allowing for an opening of the political space and reinforced respect for fundamental freedoms and human rights in Sudan,” the EU statement reads.

“At this important juncture, the EU encourages Sudan to progress further towards national reconciliation and international cooperation. The EU is ready to accompany Sudan in this process.”

Pardon

Dr Mudawi Ibrahim, who has been in detention in Khartoum's infamous Kober prison since December last year, was released late last night – along with five other detainees – in accordance with a Republican decree issued by President Omar Al Bashir.

Dr Mudawi’s family confirmed to Radio Dabanga that Dr Mudawi was released late Tuesday night and is at home.

In a terse statement on Tuesday night, the official Sudanese News Agency (SUNA) announced that Al Bashir “issued, Tuesday, a Republican decree pardoning the defendants in the criminal case No. (22/2017)”.

Detention

Dr Mudawi was arrested on December 7 from the campus of Khartoum University, where he lectures in engineering.

His detention prompted a chorus of condemnation for the highest levels of the international community including the United Nations and African Union. Dr Mudawi embarked on several hunger strikes during his detention and his family appealed repeatedly to the Sudanese government to release him.

In May, the prosecution charged Dr Mudawi on six charges including ‘undermining the constitutional system’ and ‘waging war against the state', both of which carry either the death penalty or life imprisonment. All charges against him have now been dropped.

Reports reaching Radio Dabanga this morning say that lawyers are surrently negotiating the process of the release of Dr Mudawi’s co-accused, Hafez Idris El Doma and four others. Updates as events unfold.


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