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More anti-graft committee members released in Sudan – leaders remain in prison

April 27 - 2022 KHARTOUM / PORT SUDAN
ERC leader, Wajdi Saleh (File photo)
ERC leader, Wajdi Saleh (File photo)

Most of the remaining members of Sudan’s suspended Empowerment Removal Committee (ERC)* who were detained earlier this year were released on bail on Tuesday following a ruling by the Judge of the Khartoum Criminal Court, refused to renew their detention, however four ERC leaders have not been released, on the pretext of there being further cases against them. Legal bodies have called for the release of 33 detainees from Port Sudan prison.

As previously reported by Radio Dabanga, following the court ruling, Sudanese authorities released four members of the ERC from Soba prison in Khartoum on Monday, including Zakariah Hamza, who was detained for three months.

However the ERC leader, Wajdi Saleh, an outspoken voice and supporter of the dismantlement of the ousted Al Bashir regime, Mohamed El Faki, a former member of Sudan’s Sovereignty Council, and the alternate head of the ERC, as well as two other members remain incarcerated “under the pretext of other report against them”.

The release of the detainees comes after the judge ruled not to renew the detention of the detainees for an additional period due to the lack of preliminary evidence.

Mahmoud El Shazly, a member of Wajdi Saleh’s defence team, confirmed to Sudan Today on Radio Dabanga that the prosecutor informed them that their client, would not be released, along with Muhammad El Faki and two others, on the pretext of other reports.

This follows a pledge last week by the head of the ruling junta, Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan, to review the State of Emergency, and release political detainees ‘within days’, to prepare the atmosphere for dialogue. 25 leaders of the Resistance Committees who were detained during the protests against the military coup, were released at the weekend.

Legal bodies demand 33 released from Port Sudan prison

The legal body for the defence of those affected by arbitrary arrest and the Darfur Bar Association, have called for the release of 33 detainees in Port Sudan prison.

The bodies said in a joint statement that among the detainees in Port Sudan was the Secretary-General of the Services and Change Committee in Khartoum’s Freedom District, Ahmed Hassan El Hajj, who was arrested on March 27, accompanied by committee member Ayman Mamoun.

The statement indicated that members of the counter-intelligence carried out the arrest, where they were subjected to physical and mental torture before being transferred to the State Security Office on Street. The statement noted that Ahmed Hassan El Hajj was transferred to Soba prison under the emergency and then to Port Sudan prison.

The statement indicated that the mother of the detainee, Ahmed Hassan, is elderly and suffers from chronic diseases, whose suffering has been compounded by the physical and mental torture of her son.

* The full name of the committee is the Committee for Dismantling the June 30 1989 Regime, Removal of Empowerment and Corruption, and Recovering Public Funds. It was established by the government of Abdallah Hamdok at the end of 2019 with the aim to purge Sudan of the remnants of the Al Bashir regime. Empowerment (tamkin) is the term with which the ousted government of Omar Al Bashir supported its affiliates by granting them far-going privileges, including government functions, the setting-up of various companies, and tax exemptions.

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