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Sudan’s NISS accuses blind Darfuri sheikh of espionage; detains activists

June 25 - 2018 KHARTOUM
Detention cell in Sudan (file photo)
Detention cell in Sudan (file photo)

After months of incommunicado detention in the prison of Kober in Khartoum North, the prosecution referred Sheikh Matar Younis and Adam Haroun to court. Agents of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) held two members of the solidarity committee supporting detained activist Hisham Ali.

Sheikh Younis and Haroun are charged with challenging the constitutional order, staging war against the state, and espionage. The charges are punishable with the death penalty.

Lawyer Abdelbasit Mohamed told Radio Dabanga that the state security prosecution referred the case of Sheikh Younis, who was held in Zalingei, capital of Central Darfur, in early April, and shop owner Haroun, who was detained in El Geneina in West Darfur in December last year, to a criminal court in Khartoum North.

The defence team was allowed to meet the two detainees for the first time on Sunday. “They have been held incommunicado since the day they were arrested. Their relatives have not been allowed to visit them until now,” Mohamed said.

The lawyer blamed the security apparatus for “transforming the law into a repression tool in this case, an instrument used to terrorise two innocent civilians.

“The charges not only lack any legal ground, but are also linked with the wrong persons” he said. “These two men have nothing to do with armed movements or battles.”

He called on “all human rights and legal activists in the country” to support Sheikh Younis and Haroun and “attend all court sessions”.


On Sunday as well, two members of the solidarity committee supporting political activist Hisham Ali (aka Wad Galiba) were arrested in front of NISS offices in Khartoum.

“Jalal Mustafa, deputy chairman of the solidarity committee, and activist Zuheir were detained by NISS agents while we were staging a vigil calling for the immediate release of Wad Galiba in front of the NISS headquarters in Khartoum at about 3 pm,” Amin Saad, another member of the solidarity committee told Radio Dabanga.

“Some passers by spontaneously joined the protest,” he added.

Saad said that members of the solidarity committee visited Ali’s family on Friday, “to support them in this difficult situation, especially after we heard that he was subjected to torture during his detention”.

Ali worked as a freelance accountant in Saudi Arabia, where he resided since 2010. At the request of the Sudanese authorities, he was detained by the Saudi Interior Ministry in November 2017. He was extradited from Saudi Arabia to Sudan on May 29 this year, and detained by NISS agents upon his arrival at Khartoum International Airport. He is still being held incommunicado somewhere in the Sudanese capital.

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