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Vigil for executed Sudanese Republican Party founder

January 19 - 2017 KHARTOUM
Mahmoud Mohammed Taha
Mahmoud Mohammed Taha

On Wednesday, dozens of supporters of the Sudanese Republican Party carried out a vigil near the Presidential Palace in Khartoum to commemorate the Republican Brotherhood leader Mahmoud Mohammed Taha, who was executed 32 years ago.

Taha was first arrested by the British authorities in 1945 for founding an anti-monarchist group. He was vocally critical of the subsequent Sudanese regimes. He questioned the mainstream thinking of Islamic Sharia law: True Shariah law, Taha believed, was not fixed, but had the ability ”to evolve, assimilate the capabilities of individual and society, and guide such life up the ladder of continuous development”.

He was tried and executed for apostasy, and put to death in January 1985.

Wednesday’s protesters wore T-shirts printed with a picture of Taha, “the founder of the Republican ideology”.

The Secretary-General of the Republican Party, Asmaa Mahmoud Mohammed Taha, addressed the vigil saying “it is expression and protest to recover rights through peaceful means ,and pointed out that the country is facing a crackdown on freedoms in an unprecedented manner.”

Three police trucks were deployed near the Presidential Palace, but the protesters were not attacked. Days before the vigil, the security services summoned six of the leaders of the Republican Party.

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