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Sudan: Court session against Abu Eisa, Madani turns into political rally

February 23 - 2015 KHARTOUM
Supporters welcome Faroug Abu Eisa (wearing a white turban) as he disembarks from the police lorry.
Supporters welcome Faroug Abu Eisa (wearing a white turban) as he disembarks from the police lorry.

The first procedural court session concerning the defendants Faroug Abu Eisa and Dr Amin Mekki Madani this morning turned into a political rally in downtown Khartoum.

Hundreds of Sudanese gathered near the court, accompanied by diplomats of western embassies, in particular those of the EU and the USA.

Upon the arrival of Abu Eisa, head of the National Consensus Forces, and Dr Madani, chairman of the Civil Society Initiative, from Kober prison in Khartoum North, the people cheered and called for their immediate release. The police tried to stop the cheering in vain. Abu Eisa and Madani responded by showing their supporters the victory sign.

Many of the defendants’ supporters had to wait outside the courtroom, as the visitors lounge was filled to the brim. Also inside the courtroom cheering and calls for the realisation of justice were heard.

Sudan Appeal

The chief prosecutor, Yasir Ahmed Mohamed, started with an exposition of the charges. He noted that the Sudan Appeal, signed by Abu Eisa and Madani in Addis Ababa on 3 December, together with the National Umma Party, and the Sudan Revolutionary Front rebel alliance, is a criminal project aiming to harm Sudan.

He stated that the both opposition leaders had violated the law by their “individual action” of signing the Sudan Appeal, which calls for the toppling of the regime in various ways, including “military operations, sabotaging the universities, and defamation of the nation”.

He added that the implementation of the political communiqué on the ground will lead to the harming of Sudan, internal disorder, and regime change in all unlawful way, and requested the court to sentence both opposition leaders with the highest verdict possible.

“Positive atmosphere”

Representatives of the opposition parties and the civil society who attended the court session, described the prosecutor’s words as “lies”. They told Dabanga that the trial is “unfair”, and a “political sham”, as it “is not supported by the criminal law and the Interim Constitution”, and stressed that the Sudan Appeal represents the demands of the Sudanese people.

The spokesman for the defence team, El Muiz Hadra, informed Dabanga that the court session “was concluded in a positive atmosphere. “Unfortunately, the judge called the request to release Abu Eisa and Madani on bail premature”.

The defendants themselves protested to the lorry that had transported them to the court. “They called this way of transport humiliating, also because the guards had treated them in an improper way, and dangerous, as the driver had been driving recklessly, exceeding the speed limit. The judge promised them to send a station wagon the next time.”

Hadra added that the next court session will take place next Thursday. 

 

Faroug Abu Eisa on his way to the courtroom, 23 Feb. 2015.jpg
Ibrahim El Sheikh, head of the Sudanese Congress Party, cheers in front of the court, 23 Feb. 2015.jpg
People calling for the release of political detainees, 23 Feb. 2015.jpg
Supporters in front of the court, 23 Feb. 2015.jpg
Supporters protesting the detention of Abu Eisa and Madani, 23 Feb. 2015.jpg

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