Sudanese authorities block SCP press conference

A press conference of the Sudanese Congress Party, expecting the first appearance of the newly elected chairman, was prevented by the National Intelligence and Security Service on Monday.

A press conference by the Sudanese Congress Party (SCP) which was to be the first appearance of the Party’s newly elected chairman, Omar El Digeir, was prevented by the Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) on Monday.

The opposition party said in a press statement that it received an official apology from the Teiba Press Centre in downtown Khartoum, where the conference was to be hosted, informing them of the about the decision of the NISS on Monday morning. According to the NISS, the SCP did not obtain the necessary permission for the conference.

Speaking to Radio Dabanga on Monday afternoon, Omar El Digeir said: “The decision of the security apparatus is consistent with the authoritarian strategy of repression and terrorism, practiced against the parties and activists, within the framework of containing the popular resistance rising day after day.”

He stressed that the prevention of the press conference shows that “the rights and freedoms enshrined in the Sudanese Constitution are just meaningless and non-feasible”. In the press statement, the party pledged “to continue to hold speeches in public areas such as the markets and gathering places to urge the citizens to resist the government policies”.

Ibrahim El Sheikh

The former chairman of the SCP was Ibrahim El Sheikh. El Sheikh was detained by the security apparatus for three months in 2014, and charged for humiliating the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces at a symposium. The chairman was released on 15 September 2014 after the attorney general withdrew the case against him.

The NISS continued to impede his movements: his passport was taken when he wanted to travel abroad in October 2015 and two of his party's political events were cancelled in September.