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Sudan’s SCP organises women’s protest against detention of party members

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July 16, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese Congress Party’s (SCP) women secretariat has organised a demonstration in front of the prison of Alnuhud town in West Kordofan state to protest against the continuing detention of party members, including its leader, Ibrahim al-Shiekh.

Last June, the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) arrested al-Sheikh after speaking at a seminar in which he criticized the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and accused them of committing abuses in conflict zones. He faces charges that could hand him the death penalty if convicted.

The SCP spokesperson, Bakri Yousif, told Sudan Tribune that the woman secretariat of the party’s chapter in Alnuhud organized a demonstration to protest against detention of party members.

He said that large numbers of women in the Alnuhud participated in the demonstration which started from the town’s commercial market before going to the prison.

Last Friday, NISS stormed SCP headquarters in Alnuhud and re-arrested party figures during a rally to celebrate release of the detainees.

The SCP said the government re-arrested Samia Babiker a day after she was released besides five other members including Ali Abu Sitta, Mutasim Yahia Ahmed, Osama al-Dai al-Noor, Asim Hamad, and Abdel-Aziz Adam.

Last Friday, NISS released three student activists after more than a month of detention without charges.

Several SCP members including journalist, Hassan Ishag, were also detained by NISS more than a month ago. They were not released despite starting an open-ended hunger strike.

The SCP leader’s wife and member of his defence team, Amani Malik, disclosed that Alnuhud prosecutor did not meet her husband until today, saying he only saw him on “newspapers pages”.

She added that her husband’s health condition has deteriorated, saying he suffers from high blood pressure and was not allowed to take medicines.

At a political roundtable in Khartoum last April with the participation of 83 political parties, president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir instructed authorities in the states and localities across Sudan to enable political parties to carry out their activities inside and outside their headquarters without restrictions except those dictated by the law.

The Sudanese president also pledged to enhance press freedom so that it can play its role in the success of the national dialogue unconditionally as long they abide by the norms of the profession.

Political detainees who have not been found to be involved in criminal acts will be released, he said.

But since then, Sudanese authorities arrested the leader of the National Umma Party (NUP), al-Sadiq al-Mahdi, al-Sheikh, and other activists. It also intensified its censorship of newspapers by either suspension or shutting down the entire media houses.

(ST)

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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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