More members of Empowerment Removal Committee detained in Sudan
Joint security forces arrested Mohamed El Faki, a former member of Sudan’s Sovereignty Council, and the alternate head of the now suspended Empowerment Removal Committee (ERC)*, as well as Maj Awad Karendis, another member of the ERC, on Sunday evening in Khartoum.
This follows the detention last week of three members of the ERC, following a breach of trust reported against them by the Ministry of Finance. The ERC leader, Wajdi Saleh, an outspoken voice and supporter of the dismantlement of the ousted Al Bashir regime, was detained alongside former Minister of Cabinet Affairs, Khaled Omar Yousef. Also, among the detained was the Secretary General of the ERC, Tayeb Othman Yousef, following an official complaint, related to ‘a breach of trust’, was made against them by the Ministry of Finance.
A group of lawyers submitted a legal memorandum to the Khartoum North Prosecution Office that refutes the legal grounds of the arrest and demands that the ministry’s complaint be expunged.
The lawyers identified various ways in which the arrests have allegedly not followed correct procedures, including the fact that the warrants were not issued by the correct authorities and that the arrestees have been denied the right to contact their lawyers and to meet with the Public Prosecutor.
A joint statement by the Sudan Troika (Norway, the United Kingdom, and the USA), Canada, Switzerland, and the European Union, says that the countries are” alarmed by the February 9 arrests and detentions of several high-profile political figures. The statement points out that “these troubling actions are part of a recent pattern of arrests and detentions of civil society activists, journalists, and humanitarian workers occurring throughout Sudan these last weeks.
* 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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