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Sudan’s Popular Congress Party denounces arrest of El Haj

November 22 - 2019 KHARTOUM
Dr Ali El Haj (File photo)
Dr Ali El Haj (File photo)

The Popular Congress Party (PCP) has described the arrest of its secretary general, Dr Ali El Haj as “arbitrary detention”. On Wednesday, hundreds of supporters of the ousted Al Bashir regime demonstrated in Khartoum, calling for the release of detained former government officials.

In a news conference in Khartoum on Thursday, PCP Political Secretary Idris Suliman, denounced the arrest of El Haj, calling it a “political manipulation of the law”.

He accused “circles linked to global and regional intelligence that does not want any good for Sudan, of being behind the arrest”. The detention of senior members of the former regime is “the implementation of an external agenda aiming to polarise the parties in the country”.

PCP Secretary of Justice and Human Rights Ismail El Azhari described the arrest of El Haj as a political action rather than a legal one.

The arrest procedures are based on a law that has been abolished, he argued. The PCP has prepared a petition demanding the withdrawal of the complaint against El Haj to be handed to the Investigation Committee.

He further said that El Haj has not been questioned so far.

The party’s secretary general was detained in his home in Khartoum on November 20. Charged with co-organising the military coup on June 30, 1989, which brought Omar Al Bashir to power, he is currently being held in the Kober Prison in Khartoum North.

The PCP was formed by Dr Hasan El Turabi, the Islamist mastermind behind the coup. It broke away from Al Bashir’s National Congress Party after a dispute, but later re-allied again with the ruling party.

Arrest warrants

The Forces for Freedom and Change reported on November 12 that the public prosecutor issued arrest warrants against all living members of the Command Council that organised the 1989 coup.

The public prosecutor also issued a travel ban for all accused. Bank accounts of prominent officials of the Al Bashir regime have been frozen as well.

Two days before his detention, El Haj said that Al Bashir should be extradited to the International Criminal Court.

Al Bashir supporters

On Wednesday, hundreds of people consisting mainly of relatives of detained former regime leaders, including family members of the ousted president, staged a protest in downtown Khartoum.

They called for a fair trial or the release of Al Bashir and 23 senior officials currently in detention.


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