Home | News    Monday 21 January 2013

Sudan releases jailed teacher after nine months


January 20, 2013 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese teacher and activist Jalila Khamis Koko, who was arrested by the National Security Service (NSS), was released following a court hearing on Sunday after spending nine months in detention.

JPEG - 5.3 kb
Jalila Khamis Koko spent nine months in detention

Jalila was acquitted of all charges except those related to “spreading false news”, a vague provision of the criminal code often used by the government to silence dissent, Amnesty International said in a press release extended to Sudan Tribune.

The offence is punishable by six months in prison, but the court released her because of the nine months she had already served in pre-trial detention.

“Jalila’s release is victory for justice but the nine months that she has spent in detention simply for expressing her opinions cannot be ignored,” said Audrey Gaughran, Amnesty International’s Africa program director.

The mother-of-six had faced the death penalty after being charged last September with five counts of crimes against the state, including undermining the constitutional system, espionage and waging war against the state.

An ethnic Nuba from South Kordofan and a member of banned opposition party the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement – North (SPLM-N), Jalila was volunteering to provide humanitarian support to internally displaced people from the strife-torn region prior to her arrest.

In June 2011, she appeared in a Youtube video denouncing the conditions in conflict-affected areas of South Kordofan and calling for a ceasefire.

Home to large populations of ethnic Nuba groups, South Kordofan has been the scene of fierce fighting between the Sudanese government and opposition fighters of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army - North, (SPLA-N) - the armed wing of the SPLM-N - since civil war broke out in June 2011.

Thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes and take cover in caves and mountains to escape the indiscriminate aerial bombardments carried out by government forces.

Amnesty International says Jalila is among numerous alleged SPLM-N activists arrested by Sudanese authorities across the country since conflict brokeout in the border states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile.

In a recent public statement the organisation documented how Sudanese security forces and military intelligence have carried out a campaign of arrests, targeting individuals suspected of being members of the SPLM–N or their relatives, seemingly on the basis of their ethnicity.

Jalila was arrested on 15 March 2012 in Khartoum and later transferred to Omdurman prison, where she was detained up until her release.

Amnesty said Jalila’s health had deteriorated significantly during her incarceration and that she should be entitled to compensation.

“The Sudanese government must ensure that Jalila is compensated for being deprived of her freedom and separated from her family for so long,” said Gaughran.

Amnesty is also calling on the Sudanese government to ensure she is able to return to her teaching job from which she was unfairly dismissed during the course of her detention.

Jalila was initially charged with six criminal counts, five of which fall under the category of crimes against the state, including two which carry the death penalty.

However, the Khartoum North Criminal Court later dropped some of the charges against Jalila - including two that carried the death penalty – after finding that the NSS had failed to provide adequate evidence.

The rebel SPLM-N split from the southern ruling party Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) in February 2011, ahead of South Sudan’s independence.

The elements that now make up the SPLM-N in South Kordofan and Blue Nile fought alongside the South Sudanese army (SPLA) during Sudan’s protracted civil war.

Khartoum has continued to accuse its neighbour of backing their former colleagues despite Juba’s claims that it has severed all ties with the group.


Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

Comment on this article


The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.

Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis

Beyond the Façades of Khartoum: The rise of Sudan’s ‘nouveau riche’ and increased economic disparity 2015-11-22 23:36:46 By Suliman Baldo As Sudan loses skilled professional workers, in Khartoum, a privileged minority grows richer, living in opulence and purchasing luxury goods with money from the state or income (...)

Exodus from Sudan: The flight of human capital and the growth of a parasitic economy 2015-11-21 20:54:49 By Suliman Baldo Sudan’s skilled and professional workers, who could repower industry and commerce in Sudan if they had access to opportunities and an environment with greater economic (...)

President Mbeki: Innocent as the wolf of Joseph’s blood! (3-3) 2015-11-19 13:51:20 Let Us Support His Proposals By Elwathig Kameir In addition to the three obstacles, I reviewed in the preceding article, "Obstacles in the Way of Sudan National Dialogue (SND)”, a major (...)


Latest Press Releases

Deadly Public Order raid in Umm Dawm 2015-11-11 13:26:10 The Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa (SIHA)Deadly Public Order Raid in Umm Dawm On the 14th of October, the Public Order Police (POP) carried out a sweep in Umm Dawm, an area (...)

S. Sudan civil society groups to the 28 states issue to constitutional body 2015-10-08 17:26:10 South Sudan Civil Society Organizations Submission on the Creation of 28 States in the Republic of South Sudan Press Statement For immediate Release 8th October 2015 Following the announcement (...)

Sudan Democracy First Group Statement on The International Day for Democracy 2015-10-01 22:18:58 22 September 2015 Sudan Democracy First Group (SDFG) commemorated on 15 September 2015 the International Day for Democracy, which the United Nations (UN) marks as a day to encourage governments (...)


Copyright © 2003-2015 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.