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RNM to hold public symposium in Khartoum without permit

October 20 - 2015 KHARTOUM
A protest of the Reform Now Movement at Karkar transport station in Khartoum on 4 September 2015 (RD)
A protest of the Reform Now Movement at Karkar transport station in Khartoum on 4 September 2015 (RD)

An opposition party has asked the Sudanese authorities to allow a public symposium to be held in Khartoum today, pre-empting on the possibility that security forces might stop the gathering.

The Reform Now Movement, headed by Dr Ghazi Salaheldin Atabani, said on Monday that it “respects the Constitution and the law”, and that it does not want to fight or provoke anyone by holding a symposium.

Hassan Rizeg, the deputy head of the RNM, renewed his call to the authorities to allow the party to hold the symposium at Shambat square in Khartoum North on Tuesday.

“In order to test the seriousness of the government on allowing political parties the freedom to hold their political activities within and outside their headquarters,” Rizeg told Radio Dabanga.

“There can be no [National Dialogue] while mouths are silenced because talking is part of the dialogue.”

On Saturday, security authorities refused to issue a permit to the RNM for a symposium at El Rabita Square in Shambat. A prominent party member told Radio Dabanga that the party planned on holding the symposium on Tuesday, with or without a permit.

The party organised a street symposium in a transport station in Khartoum on 4 September, during which four prominent party members were detained by security agents.

The Sudanese president recently announced the restoration of political and civil freedoms in the country and a two-month ceasefire in the war-torn Sudanese regions, some time before the launch of the first session of the National Dialogue on 10 October, in an attempt to create a suitable environment for the opposition to participate.

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