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Sudan security prevent HRs lawyer from travelling abroad

May 5 - 2015 KHARTOUM
Dr Amin Mekki Madani after his release on 9 April 2015 (RD)
Dr Amin Mekki Madani after his release on 9 April 2015 (RD)

Dr Amin Mekki Madani, Chairman of the Civil Society Initiative, has been prevented from leaving the country.

In a statement on Monday, the Sudan Appeal signatories reported that the prominent human rights defender was halted at Khartoum airport that morning. He was supposed to travel to Cairo. The airport authorities told him that a travel ban issued by the prosecutor of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) against him on 23 December last year, is still in force.

Madani then had to wait for several hours at the NISS prosecution office for a clearance letter, which he did not receive in the end. Security officers told him that he would be allowed to travel later.

Dr Madani commented on the step by saying that the Minister of Justice has dropped all the charges against him, Faroug Abu Eisa, and Farah El Agar, for signing the Sudan Appeal.

“The decision of the Justice Minister to release the three of us was based on article 58(1) of the Criminal Procedures Code. This means that all actions resulting from the charges, including imprisonment, confiscation of assets, a travel ban, and other procedures, have been cancelled too.”

He said that the Minister should have notified the concerned authorities about the procedures. “Am I the one to notify the authorities about the contents of the law upon every step I take?”

Charges

Dr Madani, Abu Eisa, head of the National Concensus Forces, a coalition of opposition parties, and El Agar, legal consultant of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), were detained in Khartoum on 6 December. They had just returned from Addis Ababa, where Abu Eisa and Madani had signed the Sudan Appeal, together with the National Umma Party and the Sudan Revolutionary Front rebel alliance.

The two-page Sudan Appeal communiqué calls 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 three opposition leaders were held incommunicado until 23 December, when they were transferred to Kober Prison in Khartoum North. NISS officers informed the defence team that they were charged with “undermining the constitutional order, and violently opposing the authorities”, charges that could carry the death penalty in case of conviction.

They were released on 9 April, a few days before the start of the general election.

 


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