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Khartoum vigil for dozens of political detainees

January 11 - 2017 KHARTOUM
Participants of the vigil for the release of political detainees hold banners in front of the NISS buildings in Khartoum on 10 January 2017, which was joined by families and opposition party representatives (RD)
Participants of the vigil for the release of political detainees hold banners in front of the NISS buildings in Khartoum on 10 January 2017, which was joined by families and opposition party representatives (RD)

Demonstrators demanded the release of the political detainees during a vigil in Khartoum, held by the families of the detainees on Tuesday. Heavy charges against two opposition members were dropped, who remain in trial for inciting violent opposition.

The vigil follows more than a week after dozens of demonstrators attended similar protests against the ongoing detention of a number of politicians and activists in the Sudanese capital. Yesterday representatives of the National Consensus Forces, a coalition of opposition parties (NCF), joined the vigil in front of the headquarters of the Sudanese security service.

The NCF released a statement afterwards saying that security agents and the Central Reserve Forces confronted the protesters with batons, and prevented them from handing a memorandum to the authorities of the Sudanese security service.

'The forces clashed with the members of the families who only held banners expressing their legitimate demands,' the NCF claimed. Three sons of detainees who were attending the vigil were shortly detained yesterday. Their release came under pressure from political party leaders and family members, the NCF said.

A list circulating on social media reports that 34 people have been politically detained

On social media, activists posted a list of all the political detainees in Sudan, the dates of their detention, and the locations they were arrested by the security service. The number has amounted to 34 people, according to the list, most of them from Khartoum.


Demonstrators hold photos of political detainees during the vigil on Tuesday (RD)

Indictment dropped

The Sudanese Criminal Court dropped the indictment of two members of the Sudanese Congress Party in Red Sea state on Tuesday and decided to release them on bail. Taha Abu Tahir and Ali Abu Mohamed were indicted for undermining the constitutional order under Article 50, which entails the death penalty.

The court in turn adopted two new charges under Article 60 of the Criminal Code, related to the call for opposition of the public authority through violence or criminal force. The defendants' case is scheduled to be heard on 17 January.

The detention of Abu Tahir and Abu Mohamed lasted more than a month. Lawyer and member of the defence team for the SCP members, Halima Hussein, told Radio Dabanga that the Criminal Court dropped the charges after an interrogation of the detainees.

Both members were detained in the first week of December last year while distributing political statements in Sinkat, which incited people to participate in the civil disobedience campaign against the implementation of economic measures in Sudan. The security service arrested a number of SCP members in the days surrounding the civil disobedience actions.


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