Activists of the Sudanese Congress Party (SCP) held a public speech in Khartoum North on Monday, condemning the public lashing of the party’s political secretary and two other members earlier that day. The National Umma Party (NUP) has also strongly denounced the sentence.
Addressing the public at the Bahri Market, the SCP speakers described the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) and President Omar Al Bashir as “utterly corrupt”.
SCP Political Secretary Mastour Ahmed Mohamed was flogged, together with two other prominent party members in front of the Omdurman Criminal Court on Monday morning, immediately after having been convicted of disturbing the public order. They had been detained on 28 April at Soug Libya in Omdurman during a public rally in which they openly criticised the policies of the NCP.
The National Consensus Forces (NCF, a coalition of opposition parties) denounced the “unjust sentence”. NCF spokesman Abubakar Yousef told Radio Dabanga that “speaking in public lies at the heart of civil actions by the opposition forces, and they have the right to do so.
“The judge, however, denied them this right, and convicted them, without the presence of a defence lawyer, to 20 lashes, to be carried out immediately.”
In a press statement on Tuesday, NUP Secretary-General Sarah Nugdallah described the conviction and its immediate implementation as “unprecedented in terms of contempt for political activities and for the freedom of association and expression”.
She stressed that the NUP will participate in all public speeches conducted by the SCP, and called upon all opposition forces to “firmly resist the silencing and humiliation of politicians”.