A criminal court sentenced affiliates of the Centre for Training and Human Development (Tracks) to one year imprisonment in Khartoum on Sunday.
The central court in Khartoum issued the ruling against Tracks director Khalafallah El Afif Mukhtar, trainer Midhat Afifeldin Hamdan and affiliate Mustafa Adam, and sentenced them to paying a fine of SDG 50,000 ($7,790). In case of non-payment they have to spend another six months in prison.
Defence lawyer Nabil Adeeb told Radio Dabanga after the verdict that the court condemned both Khalafallah and Midhat Afifeldin for 'harmful lying', and Adam for spying. Last January the court dropped their death penalty sentence.
“They can be released immediately if they pay the fine to the court,” he explained. He finds the verdict a “legal error”, contrary to the Sudanese law. “However, it does not seem very bad especially that that the convicts can immediately be released if they pay a fine by virtue of the period they have spent in detention.”
Two weeks ago, Khartoum Criminal Court postponed the ruling under the pretext of a sudden relocation of the judge to Darfur. Khalafallah, Hamdan, and Adam (director of El Zargaa Organisation for Rural Development) have been detained by the Sudanese security service since 15 August 2016.
In March that year, the security service raided Tracks, an organisation which provides training on a range of issues from IT to human rights , and seized property. Two months later eight members of the centre were arrested in Khartoum – five of them were released in June. It has been alleged that Tracks has partnered up with the El Khatim Adlan Centre for Enlightenment and Human Development (KACE), a pro-democracy NGO that also worked to promote multiculturalism in Sudan before it was closed by the authorities in 2012.
A number of international and regional organisations addressed the United Nations Special Procedures to call on the Government of Sudan to drop all charges against the activists.