On Tuesday, relatives of 17 detained members of the disbanded Empowerment Removal Committee (ERC)*, organised a protest sit-in in front of the Public Prosecution in Khartoum to demand their immediate release.
A number of lawyers participated in the vigil, and the participants carried pictures of the detainees and banners calling for their release. The protesters hold the authority responsible for any harm that comes to the detainees. It denounced the abuse of legal procedures for the purposes of political repression.
The Democratic Lawyers Alliance welcomed the formation of a unified and open defence committee for all political detainees.
The alliance said in a statement yesterday that the facts of the charges against the ERC members are considered “the biggest circumvention of justice in the history of Sudan”, pointing to the lack of legal foundations and facts that support these measures taken against the detainees.
On February 9, the ERC leader, Wajdi Saleh, an outspoken voice and supporter of the dismantlement of the ousted Al Bashir regime, was detained, as was former Minister of Cabinet Affairs, Khaled Omar, and the Secretary General of the ERC, El Tayeb Osman. This was followed of February 13 with the detention of Mohamed El Faki, a former member of Sudan’s Sovereignty Council, and the alternate head of the ERC, as well as Maj Awad Karendis, another member of the ERC.
Most recently, Taha Osman Ishag, who is also a leading member of the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC), was held by a joint force of police and security agents in central Khartoum on February 19.
* 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.