Home | News    Monday 4 August 2003 (Date first published: 4 August 2003).

Sudan rights council calls for release of nine political detainees

AFP

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KHARTOUM, Aug 4 (AFP) — A Sudanese government human rights council on Monday called for the release of nine political detainees held in custody without trial, including Islamist opposition leader Hassan al-Turabi.

Human Rights Advisory Council spokesman Al-Tayeb Haroun Abbas did not name the eight apart from Turabi, head of the Popular Congress party who was arrested in February 2001.

The nine are the last political detainees in Sudanese jails after the recent release of 32 others, he told a press conference.

The claim could not be independently confirmed.

It was not clear whether the call to free Turabi by a body which is headed by Justice Minister Ali Mohamed Osman Yassin signalled the government’s intention to release him soon.

Amnesty International said in a report on Sudan issued last month that "incommunicado detention of political opponents, students and ordinary citizens as well as torture by the security forces remain common.

"Above all, the lack of judicial accountability of the security forces for any action they take, including acts of torture, is maintained in laws which are inconsistent with international human rights principles," Amnesty added.

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