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Armed men storm SCP premises in Khartoum, assault 7 people

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July 27, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese Congress Party (SCP) said an unidentified group of armed men had stormed its headquarters in Omdurman on Sunday and assaulted several party members.

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Leader of the Sudanese Congress Party Ibrahim al-Sheikh

The SCP said in a statement that the attack took place at 4am (local time), adding that the assailants beat up seven party members, destroyed the property and confiscated laptops, mobile phones and party documents.

According to the statement, a group comprised of 12 people wearing civilian clothes stormed the SCP headquarters in Al-Abassiya neighbourhood in Khartoum’s twin city of Omdurman and assaulted seven party members who were present at the time.

The statement added that party member filed criminal charges at the central police station in Omdurman while the wounded were taken to the hospital for treatment.

Sudanese authorities arrested the SCP leader Ibrahim al-Sheikh on 8 June in Al-Nuhud town in West Kordofan state after publicly denouncing the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and accused its fighters of committing abuses in Darfur. He faces charges that could hand him the death penalty if convicted.

SCP’s deputy chairman, Fatih Elsayed, told reporters on Tuesday that his party “rejected all the bargains” proposed by the authorities in North and West Kordofan and refused to make any written apology before to release them.

On Thursday, a delegation comprised of 60 SCP members travelled to Al-Nuhud to meet al-Shiekh but authorities allowed only seven of them to see him.

Earlier this month, the SCP’s women secretariat organised a demonstration in front o Al-Nuhud prison to protest against the continuing detention of al-Shiekh and other party members.

The SCP official website said authorities arrested the secretary-general of the party chapter in Fuja area in West Kordofan state and transferred him to Al-Nuhud prison.

On 19 July, a group of masked gunmen stormed the building of Al-Tayyar daily newspaper in Khartoum and assaulted its editor-in-chief, Osman Mirghani. They also confiscated all mobile phones and laptops belonging to staff members and attacked several journalists before leaving.

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, 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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