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Trial of TRACKS activists continues in Khartoum

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October 13, 2016 (KHARTOUM) -The trail of civil society activists affiliated with the Khartoum-based Centre for Training and Human Development (TRACKS) continued in Sudanese capital Khartoum on Thursday.

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Khalafala El Afif (ACJPS Photo)

TRACKS employees were arrested by the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) on May 22 and they have been charged with counts that could lead to the death sentence and life imprisonment.

They have also been accused of undermining the constitutional order, provoking war against the state, criminal complicity, instigating an insurgency against the regime, and disseminating false news.

Thursday’s session was allocated to the questioning of investigating detective by the accusation.

The court saw altercations at the entrance to the courtroom as the police denied access to some attendees. The human rights official at the US Embassy in Khartoum complained because she had been blocked while a Dutch diplomat was allowed. Also journalists were barred, except two of them.

Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) accuse the detained activists of criminal conspiracy, undermining the constitutional order, Waging war against the State, espionage, and terrorism.

Three defendants who are jailed Al-Huda Prison in Omdurman, are the centre’s director Khalafala El Afif, the trainer Midhat Hamdan and the director of Alzarqaa Organization for Rural Development (AORD) Mustafa Adam who was visiting TRACKS Centre when the raid took place ,

The prosecution questioned the investigating detective about the relation of the director of El Khatim Adlan Centre for Enlightenment (KACE), El Bagir El Afif with TRACKS.

Also, the prosecutor interrogated the detective about an application that Hamdan filed to participate in a training course and another document on human trafficking belonging to Adam in his quality of the director of AORD, a member of the International Criminal Court (ICC) alliance.

The Sudanese authorities shut down El Khatim Adlan Centre for Enlightenment (Kace) in January 2013 and accused the centre and its director El Bagir El Afif, a brother of the director of TRACKS Khalafala El Afif, of receiving foreign funds and exercising activities harming the national security.

During the session, the prosecutor showed the court a document extracted from the PC of the second accused, dealing with the human trafficking and the alleged participation of Sudanese officials in these operations.

He further told the judge that the investigation seized a document speaking the claimed government leniency, corruption and the involvement of officials, casting doubt on the credibility of the Sudanese government commitment to fight human trafficking.

The prosecution submitted documents seized in the house El Bagir El Afif, including an agreement between the Dutch Cordaid Foundation and KACE on support and advocacy of human rights and women, a contract of employment between the KACE and Ms. Miriam Diakite as financial development official, a list of names of activists invited to the Human Rights Council and a letter addressed to the German Embassy.

Lawyer Nabil Adib, the head of the defence team refuted a document claiming that there was an agreement signed by foreign company and other entity with Kace as secondary beneficiary with a grant of $45,000. Adib pointed out that the document has nothing to do with the case.

Also, the prosecution presented a copy of a $65,000 grant agreement with Endowment for Democracy foundation, pointing to the signature of El Bagir El Afif saying he was the hidden director of TRACKS .

He added that all the defendants in TRACKS case worked previously in the banned KACE.

(ST)

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