The opposition National Umma Party (NUP) condemned the arrest of its state secretary in South Darfur last Friday in the aftermath of a prison break in Buram. Statements Amar Jibril Hamid Ambodi made to Radio Dabanga about the events at the prison are believed to be the cause of his arrest, according to the locality’s party head.
Last Wednesday night, Buram was overrun by gunmen mounted on horseback and camels who freed dozens of inmates after a firefight at the town’s police station.
Ambodi, who was in the town at the time of the events, announced the following day what he had witnessed to Radio Dabanga.
The politician said that what happened was “very serious” but not the first time Buram witnessed something of the kind. He blamed the state and local authorities, besides the locality’s police chief, for the release of the prisoners.
“Freedom of opinion violation”
National Umma Party, led by Imam Sadiq Al Mahdi, strongly condemned Ambodi’s arrest and said his comments were in line with statements made by the commissioner of Buram locality and of the police.
According to NUP, the politician’s arrest is “against the law and the constitution as it represents a serious violation of freedom of opinion and expression”. The Party demanded Ambodi’s immediate release.
Dr. Mariam Sadiq Al Mahdi, NUP’s leading figure, told Radio Dabanga the secretary’s arrest “represents a dangerous new orientation of the government and its security forces against officials of other parties”.
“The government does not want free media and it does not want anyone else other than its party’s representatives to speak or appear in media. This is a very dangerous new orientation in Darfur”, she declared.
Al Mahid called upon Darfurians to “speak loudly about their issues and not to remain silent about injustices and violations” they may be subjected to.
“Silence means succumbing to death and extinction, which is not at all acceptable”, she said.
“100 percent true”
Khamis Hamed Tijani, NUP head in Buram locality, asserted the detainee’s statements were “100 percent true”.
“Even if he stays in prison for 100 years, we will not withdraw our comments”, NUP’s head declared.
Tijani added that Ambodi’s position within the party allows him to express the party’s opinion on all events to the media, not only in Buram or Darfur but in all parts of Sudan. He demanded the secretary’s “immediate” release.
Photo: Mariam Al Mahid, National Umma Party (alrakoba.net)
Related: S Darfur police: 17 inmates recaptured after Buram prison break (21 March 2013)