Sudanese National Umma Party co-president detained
Dozens of demonstrators calling for the overthrow of Sudan’s President, Omar Al Bashir, were detained yesterday along with Maryam El Sadig El Mahdi, co-president of the National Umma Party (NUP).
A demonstration was held yesterday in Omdurman against the State of Emergency imposed by Omar Al Bashir, in response to calls of signatories to the Declaration of Freedom and Change, a document demanding the unconditional withdrawal of President Omar Al Bashir and his regime from power and the formation of a national transitional government.
Security forces attempted to disperse demonstrators with use of batons, tear gas, and tazers.
Dozens of demonstrators were taken from the front of NUP offices, which had been surrounded since the early hours of the morning by security officers, including Maryam El Sadig, daughter of opposition NUP leader and ex-prime minister El Sadiq El Mahdi and co-president of the party, and Rabah El Sadig El Mahdi, a prominent NUP cadre and sister of Maryam. "As some of our leaders came out of the party office to lead the march, security agents arrested them," said Mohamed El Mahdi, head of the NUP political bureau.
The protestors were transferred to the Emergency Court in Omdurman. El Sadig was sentenced to one week in prison and a SDG2,000 ($42) fine in accordance with the Emergency Law. The court sentenced Rabah El Sadig El Mahdi to a month's imprisonment with a fine of SDG500 ($10.50). The other five leaders detained were fined SDG1,000 ($21) each.
The NUP co-president’s sentence is considered the first court ruling against a leading political figure since the imposition of the state of emergency last month.
According to Sudan Tribune, Maryam will not pay the fine and will stay in jail for two more weeks. Following the court ruling, she has been transferred to the Women’s Prison in Omdurman. "Goodbye, I have decided not to pay the fine, so see you after three weeks," she wrote on her Facebook page.
Release of women
This follows an order by President Al Bashir on Friday, International Women’s Day, for the release of all women protesters detained during nationwide demonstrations that have rocked his rule since December. Bashir made the announcement during a meeting with a group of people from eastern Sudan at his residence in Khartoum.
"I order Salah Ghosh to release all women detainees," Bashir said at the meeting, referring to the chief of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS).
Yesterday, demonstrations also took place in several places in El Gezira demanding freedom and for the overthrow of the regime. Dozens of youths marched in Wad Madani, the capital of El Gezira, in line with calls by the Declaration of Freedom and Change.
Witnesses told Radio Dabanga that the demonstrators gathered in front of Wad Madani court in the early morning, chanting slogans calling for freedom and justice.
* As effective foreign exchange rates can vary widely in Sudan, Radio Dabanga bases all SDG currency conversions on the Market Makers Mechanism-determined daily US Dollar rate quoted by the Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS).
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