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Family of Dr Mudawi breaks fast near prison

May 29 - 2017 KHARTOUM
Dr Mudawi Ibrahim (file photo)
Dr Mudawi Ibrahim (file photo)

The family of a well-known human rights defender detained in Kober Prison in Khartoum North have taken their first Ramadan breakfast on the street near the prison.

The family of Dr Mudawi Ibrahim broke the fast in front of the prison’s north gate in protest against his detention by the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) since 7 December last year.

The first weeks, Dr Mudawi, a university professor and founder of the Sudan Social Development Organisation (SUDO), was held incommunicado in a NISS detention centre. In January, he was transferred to Kober Prison. He was not interrogated throughout his detention, until he was brought to the NISS prosecution in late February. Yet, charges were filed.

He embarked on a hunger strike in protest, which prompted the NISS to charge him with attempted suicide. The UN Independent Expert on the Situation of Human Rights in Sudan, Aristide Nononsi, who visited him at the prosecution office a month later, voiced his concern in a statement.

By the end of March, the prosecutor-general issued a decision to release Dr Mudawi on bail. Early May, however the attorney-general cancelled the decision.

Charges

On 11 May, the State Security Prosecution in Khartoum filed criminal charges against him, and another human rights defender, Hafiz Idris, head of the Youth Association of the North Darfur camps for the displaced, who was held during a visit to the home of Dr Mudawi Ibrahim in Omdurman in early December.

The charges include undermining of the constitutional order, inciting war against the state, espionage, inciting hatred against denominations, being members of criminal and terrorist organisations, and dissemination of false news. Some of the charges are punishable by death.

In a statement on Sunday, the family of Dr Mudawi stated that “his detention as a hostage without justification, is a clear legal and constitutional violation that deprives him of his personal freedom and from work, as well as depriving his family from living a normal life in security and peace”.

The family expressed its concern that “the authorities will try to turn his work against human rights violations into a crime”.

Earlier this year, state-controlled newspapers and websites accused Dr Mudawi of “collaborating with foreign entities”. A media outlet close to the ruling National Congress Party reportedly claimed that he is involved in an Amnesty International report released last year on the use of chemical weapons in Darfur’s Jebel Marra.


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