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Justice state minister denies knowledge of political prisoners in Sudan

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Khalid Omer Youssef, deputy head of the Sudanese Congress Party speaks in a spontaneous meeting in Al-Diam neighbourhood, Khartoum on 4 Nov 2016. He was arrested by the security service at his home in the afternoon. (ST Photo)
November 13, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - Minister of State for Justice, Tahani Taur Al-Dabba Sunday denied knowledge of any political prisoners in Sudan after the lift of fuel and electricity subsidies.

Earlier this month, Sudanese government lifted fuel and increased electricity price in a bid to stop the surge in inflation and control the fall of Sudanese pound in the black market.

“I have no information about the existence of political prisoners,” al-Dabba said in press statements.

The denial was made days after a large-scale arrest campaign carried out by the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) against political leaders who called to protest the government’s decision to increase fuel, electricity prices.

Also, Justice Minister Awad al-Hassan al-Nur refused to answer questions from journalists about the political detainees at the National Assembly on Sunday.

Following the increase of prices, the security services arrested the leadership members of the opposition Sudanese Congress Party (SCoP), some cadres of the National Umma Party (NUP), Sudanese Ba’ath Party and human rights activists to prevent protests.

Sudan’s Minister of Information Ahmed Bilal Osman last Wednesday said that SCoP members were arrested for inciting to topple the regime, stressing that those who are involved in the any anti-government action would be referred to justice and the others will be released.

In recent months, the centre-left party has challenged NISS and organized political activities calling to take to the streets to protest against lack of political freedoms and the economic policies announced by the government recently.

(ST)

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