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Sudan’s jailed opposition leader transferred to hospital amid health fears

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August 10, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The leader of the opposition Sudanese Congress Party (SCoP) Ibrahim al-Sheikh, has been transferred from al-Nuhood prison in West Kordofan state to the Police Hospital in Khartoum following a significant deterioration in his health.

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Leader of the Sudanese Congress Party Ibrahim al-Sheikh

Sudanese authorities arrested al-Sheikh last June in al-Nuhood after publicly denouncing the government militia known as the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and accused its fighters of committing abuses against civilians in conflict zones. He faces charges that could hand him the death penalty if convicted.

The SCoP spokesperson Bakri Youssef told Sudan Tribune that al-Sheikh’s health faced a setback two times recently which forced the prison’s management to rush him to the Police Hospital, adding that he is en route to Khartoum.

Youssef pointed out that al-Sheikh, who suffers from high blood pressure, will be placed under guard and held the government responsible for his safety.

Al-Sheikh was detained in al-Nuhood prison along with other SCoP members who are currently being jailed in several prisons in North and West Kordofan states.

The SCoP enjoys large support in Al-Nuhood which is al-Sheikh’s hometown.

Sudanese authorities released the head of the National Umma Party (NUP), al-Sadiq al-Mahdi, on 15 June following his month-long detention on the same charges as al-Sheikh.

The state media said the move was done after al-Mahdi’s lawyers appealed to the justice minister Mohamed Bushara Dousa who agreed to use his powers under article (58) of Sudan’s penal code to stop criminal proceedings against any suspect at any point before being sentenced by a court.

The official news agency SUNA carried a statement by NUP Central Commission stating that they support the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and that what al-Mahdi mentioned regarding RSF is derived from complaints and claims “that are not necessarily all true”.

The SCoP rejected all the bargains proposed by authorities in North and West Kordofan and refused to make any written apology before to release its leader.

(ST)

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