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SPLM leader beaten and in hospital, Pagan Amum refuses release

December 7 - 2009 KHARTOUM

The leader of the SPLM-party in Northern Sudan, Yassir Arman, has been severely beaten and wounded in detention. The wounds inflicted on Yassir Arman were serious and had to be treated by a doctor in Khartoum Hospital. Radio Dabanga received confirmation from the SPLM. Yassir Arman was Sunday arrested together with his party-colleague Pagan Amum while demonstrating against the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) of President Omar al Bashir. The police wanted to take his mobile phone, but he refused to hand it over. The police started to beat him in presence of others. According to the SPLM, several others were also severely wounded and even tortured, but the security officials did not allow Radio Dabanga reporters to meet them, despite their release. After the incident, SPLM-secretary Pagan Amum refused to be released. He wants to get full clarification from the authorities and officers in chare about who is responsible for his arrest, detention and the physical abuse of his colleague Yassir Arman. The political crisis in Khartoum between the NCP and its coalition partner SPLM and the opposition is growing by the day. The SPLM stopped negotiations with Omar Al Bashir asking for international mediation by the IGAD (African nations). The parties have major disagreements about border issues between North and semi-autonomous southern Sudan (Abyei), the registration process for the elections in 2011, the issue of Darfur and a referendum in 2012 about self determination of Southern Sudan and possible secession.

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