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South Sudanese priests moved to Kober prison

June 10 - 2015 KHARTOUM
Pastor David Reith (Christian Solidarity Worldwide)
Pastor David Reith (Christian Solidarity Worldwide)

Two South Sudanese pastors facing criminal charges in Sudan have been moved to a high security prison. Their relatives are not allowed to visit them anymore.

Rev. Yat Michael Ruot and Rev. David Yein Reith of the South Sudanese Evangelical Presbyterian Church were previously detained at a low security prison in Omdurman. Their relatives and pastors from their church last saw them there on 3 June, Christian Today reported on Tuesday.

When their families returned the next day, they were refused to visit them. The Sudanese authorities confirmed two days later, that the men were transferred to Kober Prison in North Khartoum.

No one has been allowed to visit them at Kober Prison. There is speculation that the lockdown was ordered by the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS).

During a visit to Khartoum, Rev. Ruot was detained by security officers on 21 December, after he had been preaching that morning at the Sudanese Presbyterian Evangelical Church in Khartoum North.

Rev. Reith, also visiting Khartoum, was detained on 11 January, when he responded to summons to report to an office of the security service. It appears that his detention was linked to a letter he delivered to the Religious Affairs Office in Khartoum inquiring about Rev. Ruot’s wherabouts.

Both were held incommunicado until 1 March, when they were charged of espionage, offending Islam, and undermining the constitutional order. Two of the charges carry the death penalty or life imprisonment.

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