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Sudan’s opposition reject plea for release of detained leaders

January 7 - 2015 KHARTOUM
Poster calling for solidarity with Amin Mekki Madani (L), Farah Agar (C), and Faroug Abu Eisa, December 2014 (National Umma Party)
Poster calling for solidarity with Amin Mekki Madani (L), Farah Agar (C), and Faroug Abu Eisa, December 2014 (National Umma Party)

The National Consensus Forces (NCF) denounced a petition submitted by the Lawyers Syndicate to the Ministry of Justice, demanding the release of opposition leaders Faroug Abu Eisa, Dr Amin Mekki Madani, and Farah El Agar.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the allied opposition parties rejected the pro-government Lawyers Syndicate’s call for the release of Abu Eisa, NCF chairman, Dr Madani, head of the Civil Society Initiative, and El Agar, legal consultant of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, on the basis of their age and health condition.

The three lawyers were detained by security officers in their homes in Khartoum on 6 December, a day after they had returned to Sudan from Addis Ababa, where Abu Eisa and Dr Madani had signed the Sudan appeal, a political communiqué, together with the Umma Party, and the allied rebel movements. They were held incommunicado until 22 December, after which they were transferred to Kober Prison in Khartoum North. The National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) had charged them with “undermining the constitutional order, and violently opposing the authorities”. The charges are punishable with the death penalty.

In the communiqué, the united opposition forces call for the ending of the civil wars in the country, the dismantling of the one-party system, and the rebuilding of Sudan based on democratic principles and equal citizenship. The signatories agree that if a peaceful regime change cannot be achieved by a broad national dialogue, it should be enforced by a popular uprising.

The NCF referred in its statement to Abu Eisa’s (81) repeated requests to his family and colleagues not to plea for his release because of his age and health condition.

“The justification for the release of opposition leaders because of age, illnesses, and good faith does not fit with the role of the Lawyers Syndicate, defending public freedoms and human rights,” the statement reads. “With this kind of conduct, the Syndicate is advocating the regime’s policies.”

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