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Sudan frees political detainees

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August 16, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – Security authorities in Sudan released on Thursday a number of political detainees including opposition figures who were arrested as part of a major crackdown on weeks of streets protests and increased anti-government activities.

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FILE PHOTO - Sudanese protesters gather as riot policemen stand guard during a demonstration in the capital Khartoum on July 13, 2012 (GETTY)

The released detainees include: Kamal Omer, the political secretary of the Islamist Popular Congress Party (PCP) who was arrested on 8 July; Mohammed Dia Al-Din, the spokesperson of the Baath Arab Socialist Party (BASP); lawyer activist Sati Al-Haj; and Faisal Shabo of the Sudanese Communist Party (SCP).

Their release, after some of them had spent more than two months in detention, followed an announcement on Wednesday by the head of the National Intelligence and Security Services, Mohammed Atta, that they were going to release 80 detainees ahead of Eid Al-Fitr holiday that follows the holy month of Ramadan which is due to end on Sunday 19 August.

Sudan arrested hundreds of opposition members and youth activists following the outbreak in mid-June of intermittent but widespread protests sparked by the government’s decision to scrap fuel subsidies, as part of a larger austerity plan aiming to plug a budget gap of 2.4 billion US dollars resulting from the secession of oil-rich South Sudan.

Atta said that the release of the detainees, which was done at the behest of President Omer Al-Bashir, comes despite the existence of plenty of evidence proving their involvement in “inciting hatred against the state”.

Kamal Omer’s wife, Zainb Taha, said, on Thursday, that she was informed by PCP members that her husband was being released from his detention in the eastern Red Sea state and was on his way to Khartoum.

The authorities also released a number of youth activists and journalists detained in connection to the protests. These include: Mohamed Alim Boshi, a famous BASB student activist; Usamah Mohammed, an active twitter user who was arrested during the first days of the protests; also amongst those released is journalist Mohammed Al-Asbat.

Similarly, sources close to the opposition National Umma Party (NUP) said on Thursday that there was information that a number of the party’s youth detainees, most notably Mohammed Foul and Yasir Fathi, are being released.

Activist groups estimate that nearly 2000 people were arrested over the demonstrations which largely petered out with the advent of Ramadan.

(ST)

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  • 17 August 2012 07:36, by Madina Tonj

    Well, the Northern Sudanese parties are very scared to death when it come to regime change especially, the so call Mr. Saqd al Mohdi is so fearful man, who had been avoiding confrontation in numbers of years, he is thinking Omar al Bashir will give up easily like Yeman president this is not going to happen in Northern Sudan’s case for regime change. Fearful people will never change regime mark i

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    • 17 August 2012 11:33, by Dinkawarrior

      I wonder why Hossein Obama want to removed Sudan from the list of States Sponsoring Terrorists while Konyi is hiding in Khartoum! Sudan is doing the same shit like what happened in 80s when the Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden made Khartoum to be safe haven. We will watch and see what Hossein Obama is doing? Wether he is hunting for Oil or Terrorists.

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      • 17 August 2012 19:32, by Ruach

        Another nasty PCP like NCP!!Hell is in Sudan,there is no other hell

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  • 17 August 2012 08:26, by Modi Lo Laja

    Sudan Leaders,
    Your evils act have worsen the Sudan oneness and now Sudan is two nations. And you are still encouraging more re-division in the Sudan North by what you are doing to your people.
    Though you jails/prisons some of the opposition parties, the out left will carry on what the people of Sudan wanted.
    Seeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee it in time to come.
    Thanks
    Modi

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    • 17 August 2012 11:45, by Paul Ongee

      The good news is the release of protesters but only for a few hours/days. NISS releases them on instructions from Omer Al-Bashir and get arrested the same or next day for simply failing to fulfill the pledge for popular support.My question to Omer Al-Bashir is Do you know that international community is closely watching your aggressive military and repressive political move?

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      • 17 August 2012 11:47, by Paul Ongee

        ...Watch out, either you escape or not the fate of the former president of Iraq, Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen and currently Syria, the CHOICE IS YOURS. The world will be better off without Iran and Sudan who are still “waiting” for popular support to terrorize the world instead of surviving peacefully and transformationally.

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    • 17 August 2012 14:12, by daniell

      Releasing detainees is a job well done in the eye of people of Northern Sudan.Overall they are the one who form the government or the goverment can be formed throught them.That mean fuel subsidy which was tried hard by goverment to impose rest heavely on those who ended up in detaintion;but they are part of Northern Sudan and government must hear their says.At least they out.This is good.Thanks.

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