Judge postpones hearing of activists in Sudan capital
A Judge at the Khartoum Criminal Court in Sudan today postponed the case against nine activists affiliated with the Khartoum-based Centre for Training and Human Development (TRACKS).
At what was expected to be the start of the long-awaited trial on the activists, the Judge acceded to a request from the investigation team to postpone the case, and adjourned proceedings until 30 August.
Speaking to Radio Dabanga from Khartoum today, Lawyer Nabil Adib, head of the defence team said the head of the investigation team called for the adjournment in order to properly prepare for the case. He told the Judge that he has been on a mission outside Khartoum and only returned yesterday. He therefore needs more time to prepare.
World Movement of Democracy
In a statement on Wednesday, ahead of the trial, the World Movement of Democracy expressed its concern about new developments following the Sudanese National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) arrest of the Sudanese activists, six of whom were detained on May 22, 2016.
“Three of the arrestees, Arwa El Rabie, Imany-Leila Ray, and El Hassan Kheiry, were released on bail after ten days of detention. However, Midhat Hamadan and Mustafa Adam (who face additional charges under the Information Crimes Law), and Khalafallah A. Mukhtar, remain detained in El Huda Prison in Omdurman North. After 86 days in detention without being charged, they are now facing four charges including espionage and terrorism.”
The statement says that “the NISS has harassed the TRACKS Centre for the past two years. On March 26, 2015 and February 29, 2016, NISS officers raided the TRACKS premises, confiscating electronic equipment and documents. Those raids also resulted in separate espionage and terrorism charges against Mukhtar and Hamdan, among others. During the last few months, TRACKS staff have been subjected to repeated summons, inhumane jail conditions, unexplained long-term detention, and delayed court sessions. Some of the TRACKS activists' family members have also been targeted by NISS. After many delays, the accused are finally scheduled to appear in Central Khartoum Criminal Court on Wednesday, August 24.
“The World Movement for Democracy condemns the NISS's unacceptable treatment of civil society and urges the government of Sudan to unconditionally release the activists and drop all charges against them. If the Sudanese government moves forward with the trial, the activists must be given a transparent, fair, and speedy trial,” the statement concludes.
Activists facing charges:
El Khozeinee Ahmed El Hadi, Temporary Accountant of the TRACKS Centre
Mustafa Adam, Director of the Zarga organisation for Rural Development, who was visiting TRACKS Centre when the raid took place
Adil Bakheet, Sudanese Human Rights Monitor
Midhat Afifeldin Hamdan, Trainer of the TRACKS Center
El Hassan Kheiry, IT technician of the TRACKS Center
Khalafallah A. Mukhtar, Director of the TRACKS Center
Arwa El Rabee, Administrative Director of the TRACKS Center
Imani-Leila Ray, volunteer from Cameroon
The World Movement of Democracy appeals to supporters to tweet the following statement: #ATTN Gov't of #Sudan: End harassment of #TRACKS activists & #SetThemFree! Read the DemAlert here: bit.ly/2bsBsgA
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