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Khartoum to prosecute Sudan pastor

May 13 - 2016 KHARTOUM
Church in Sudan (BBC file photo)
Church in Sudan (BBC file photo)

A pastor of the Christian Church in Sudan was referred to the State Security Prosecution in Khartoum on Tuesday, after his detention for more than five months.

Pastor Hassan Abdelrahim Kodi (49) is the Secretary-General of the Sudanese Church of Christ and has been arrested by the Sudanese security service since 18 December last year, together with two senior priests, from their houses in Khartoum North and Omdurman.

The security authorities have not allowed him or his colleagues the chance to speak to a lawyer during the period of their detention. One of the pastors is named Telal Ngosi (44). It is currently unknown whether they have been referred to the State Security Prosecution in Khartoum as well.

The Human Rights and Development Organization (Hudo) Centre reported in February that the whereabouts of the detainees were still unknown. ‘Their families and church authority were prevented from visiting them. Both are at risk of torture.’

Early in 2014, the churches of Sudan announced that Christians in the country are being harassed by the authorities and that their right to practice their religion is violated by the government.

The government has stopped granting permits to build new churches in Sudan, Christian religious leaders said, and they demanded from the government to do so. They claimed that some Christians are saying their prayers in their homes because of the stop on granting permits for the construction of churches.

Hudo said it frequently receives reports about detention and ill-treatment of Christians in Sudan. The security service arrested Rev. Kuwa Shemaal and Rev. Hassan Abdelrahim, both pastors of the Sudanese Church of Christ in Khartoum, also in December.

In March, the head of Sudan Church of Christ in Omdurman was detained.

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