Sudanese Writers’ Union closer to regaining expropriated building
The Supreme Court ordered to write-off an appeal by the Ministry of Culture against the Sudanese Writers’ Union building being returned to the Union. “With this decision the union has won the case once and for all.”
The Supreme Court ordered to write-off an appeal by the Ministry of Culture against the Sudanese Writers' Union building being returned to the Union. “With this decision the union has won the case once and for all.”
The appeal filed by the Ministry of Culture and Information was against the decision of the Administrative Court to hand over the former building of the Sudanese Writers’ Union to the executive committee of the Union.
Yesterday Osman Shangar, the chairman of the Sudanese Writers’ Union, told Radio Dabanga that “with this decision issued by the highest judicial institution, the Union has won the case once and for all”.
Despite the decision of the court, Shangar does not rule out that there are some difficulties such as the final dissolution of the Union or the denial of the authorities to start the re-registration process with the registrar of cultural groups.
However, “the Supreme Court's decision opens the door to hope despite the difficult circumstances at all levels. It is a victory for the free will of the judiciary and there is a margin for impartial justice in Sudan.”
He explained that the Ministry of Culture undermines cultural action and has dealt with cultural centres as “enemies”. Shangar pointed to the closure of El Khatim Adlan Centre for Enlightenment and Human Development (KACE), a pro-democracy NGO that also worked to promote multiculturalism in Sudan before it was closed by the authorities in 2012. The ministry also disrupted the work of Abdelkarim Mirghani Centre more than once, Shangar said.
In January 2015, the Ministry of Culture cancelled the registration of the Mahmoud Mohamed Taha Centre in Omdurman, the National Civil Forum, and the Sudanese Writers’ Union, without citing reasons or relevant legislation. The Writers’ Union was allowed to reopen in December last year.