July 4, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese Congress party announced that security forces stormed their headquarters in the town of al-Nuhood in West Kordofan state and blocked plans for a mass rally in which several opposition figures were scheduled to address.
- FILE - Sudanese anti-riot police in Khartoum (REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)
Bakri Youssef, a spokesman for the party, said that police forces stormed the party’s headquarters on Friday evening and arrested two of their members and confiscated loudspeakers.
Today’s cancelled rally was organised in solidarity with the detained Congress party’s leader Ibrahim al-Sheikh with representation from major opposition parties including the National Umma Party (NUP), Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and Sudanese Communist Party (SCP).
Authorities also refused to allow opposition figures from these parties to meet with al-Sheikh who is imprisoned in al-Nuhood.
Al-Sheikh was detained last month after speaking at a seminar in which he criticised the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitary unit and accused them of committing abuses in conflict zones. He faces charges that could hand him the death penalty if convicted.
The NUP leader al-Sadiq al-Mahdi was arrested in May for same reason but was released a month later after his party made a subtle apology in a formal appeal to the Sudanese justice minister.
However, al-Sheikh’s lawyers said that he refused to follow al-Mahdi’s suit in apologising for his remarks.
Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir has warned that he will not allow criticism of government troops saying it has a demoralising impact on those fighting rebels in conflict zones.