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16 female activists arrested at demonstration calling for release of opposition figure

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August 28, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) arrested 16 activists who are part of the "No to oppression of women" initiative during their vigil in front of the Omdurman women’s prison on Thursday, to demand the release of the deputy chairman of the National Umma Party (NUP), Mariam al-Sadiq al-Mahdi.

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FILE - Meriam Al-Mahdi is the daughter of the National Umma Party leader al-Sadiq al-Mahdi (AFP)

The police dispersed the gathering using tear gas.

On August 12th, the Sudanese security services arrested Mariam as she returned from Paris following the signing of the Paris Declaration with the Sudan Revolutionary Forces (SRF).

NCP officials suggested that she might face charges of spying and signing agreements with rebel groups particularly as the SRF is classified as an “enemy”.

The declaration, which calls for unifying the political and military opposition forces, emphasises the need to create a suitable atmosphere for the dialogue.

The declaration also expresses the readiness of the rebel alliance to implement a renewable cessation of hostilities in order to allow humanitarian access to the needy population in the war zones and to engage in the preparation of a constitutional dialogue.

Sudan Tribune notes the detainees include the NUP Secretary-General Sarah Nugdalla, Mariam’s sister Rabah, Sandra Farouk Kadouda, journalist Fatima Ghazali and Ihsan Fagiri.

Last Sunday, Mariam’s family and a number of NUP leaders and activists staged a similar protest in front of the NISS headquarters in Khartoum.

(ST)

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