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Lawyers question delay in Abu Eisa, Madani trial in Sudan

January 21 - 2015 KHARTOUM
Chairman of the National Consensus Forces, Faroug Abu Eisa, Feb. 2013 (The Niles)
Chairman of the National Consensus Forces, Faroug Abu Eisa, Feb. 2013 (The Niles)

The defence lawyers of Farouk Abu Eisa and Dr Amin Mekki Madani accuse the Sudanese authorities of prolonging their detention, without any legal justification.

At a press conference in Khartoum on Tuesday, Omar Abdelaati, head of the defence team, announced that the State Security Prosecution has completed its investigations with Abu Eisa, head of the National Consensus Forces, a coalition of opposition parties, and Dr Madani, a well-know human rights defender, and chairman of the Civil Society Initiative.

“Abu Eisa and Madani also testified to the judge that they signed the Sudan Appeal in Addis Ababa on 3 December, following an invitation by Thabo Mbeki, head of the AU High-level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) for Sudan, and that this act does not constitute a violation of the law,” Abdelaati stressed.

“Though both accused have acknowledged their signing of the Sudan Appeal in front of a judge, their signatures still have to be compared with those on the document. This shows that the authorities just want to prolong their detention, despite the absence of any legal justification.”

The lawyer said that they will submit a second petition to the minister of Justice, demanding the charges to be dropped, or the immediate handling of the case by a judge.

Abu Eisa and Madani were detained by security officers in their homes in Khartoum on 6 December, a day after they had returned to Sudan from the Ethiopian capital. They were held incommunicado until 22 December, after which they were transferred to Kober Prison in Khartoum North. The National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) had officially accused them of “undermining the constitutional order, and violently opposing the authorities”, charges punishable with life imprisonment or the death penalty.

The two opposition leaders signed the Sudan Appeal, a political communiqué, together with the National Umma Party (NUP), and the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF), an alliance of the main rebel movements.

In the communiqué, the united opposition forces call for the ending of the civil wars in the country, the dismantling of the one-party system, and the rebuilding of Sudan based on democratic principles and equal citizenship. The signatories agreed that if a peaceful regime change cannot be achieved by a broad national dialogue, it should be enforced by a popular uprising.

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