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Politician released from detention in Sudan

April 1 - 2019 KHARTOUM
U.S. Charge d'Affaires Steven Koutsis (left) sits with Siddig Yousef (right) after he is released from 88 days of detention by the Sudanese regime on 31 March 2019 (US Embassy Khartoum)
U.S. Charge d'Affaires Steven Koutsis (left) sits with Siddig Yousef (right) after he is released from 88 days of detention by the Sudanese regime on 31 March 2019 (US Embassy Khartoum)

In an interview with Radio Dabanga, Siddig Yousef, prominent member of the Communist Party of Sudan and the National Consensus Forces, said “all signs now point to the dream of bringing down regime”. He also met with US Charge d’Affaires Steven Koutsis.

88-year-old Yousef was released from prison on Sunday, following being detained for 88 days for holding and expressing views that differ from those of the government. He said that “events over the past 100 days of the Sudanese revolution are a very big indicator of the end and fall of the regime, which is against people who cheer ‘Just fall’ for a homeland which we dreamed of ever since independence.”

Opposition and youth

He confirmed in his interview that all opposition forces fully agree on what happens after the overthrow of the regime, referring to ongoing demonstrations which have been calling for President Omar Al Bashir and his government to step down from 30 years in power in Sudan.

He said the fall of the regime is the beginning, but not the victory: “It is the opening of the road to achieving full victory,” pointing out that the variety of political forces in the Sudanese opposition have all agreed on the charters and signatures, so that “none would be at odds following the fall of the regime”. In his opinion, “this will ensure that there is no setback for the revolution as happened in October and April 1985”.

Regarding a group of youth who lead a demonstration to his home on Sunday and the establishment of a ceremony honouring him in a mosque for his struggle, Siddig Yousef said: “Now that I am close to death, I can say that I will die with the assurance that I have handed the banner to those who deserve it."

He expressed his happiness about what happened on the street, the initiatives of youth and their steadfastness and firm understanding of what they want. 

US Embassy visit

On the day of his release, US Charge d’Affaires Steven Koutsis visited Yousef in his family home in Omdurman. “No one should be subjected to this harsh treatment,” read a statement made by the by the US Embassy following the meeting. 

The statement also expressed concern over the Sudanese government’s “continued use of extra-judicial detentions in response to the largely peaceful protests in Khartoum and elsewhere.” It condemned the incarceration of  opposition party leaders, civil society activists, and journalists, calming this “contradicts the Government of Sudan's call for an open and inclusive dialogue on Sudan's future.” This statement follows a similar one made in February, and urged the Sudanese government to give all detainees visits by family and legal counsel.

The Speaker of the Sudanese Parliament received a petition on February 14, signed by more than 1,200 people requesting the immediate release of their relatives currently being held by Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS). At the time, the Popular Congress Party urged the president Al Bashir to order the release of the 411 political detainees in the country.

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