January 29, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - A Sudanese court has sentenced a Czech journalist Petr Jasek to life in prison for espionage. The court, also sentenced a pastor and an activist to 12 years for rendering him criminal assistance .
- police stands outside the courthouse in Khartoum 2007
Jasek had been arrested by the Sudanese security service at Khartoum airport carrying video and written material about the armed conflict in the Nuba Mountains where the government is accused to targeting civilians in the rebel controlled areas.
The Judge of North Khartoum court, Osama Ahmed Abdallah, Sunday, sentenced the journalist Peter Jacek to life imprisonment for spying against the Sudan and disseminating reports - via an "American organization hostile to Sudan" - including alleged persecution of Christians in the country, and the bombardment of civilian populated areas in the Nuba Mountains of South Kordofan State.
The judge also sentenced the journalist for filming military areas, provoking hatred against religious communities and spreading false news about the country. Further, the Czech was ordered to pay a fine of 100,000 Sudanese pound for violating the Sudanese humanitarian law.
In October 2016, the European Parliament mentioned the detention of the Czech Christian aid worker in a resolution on human rights in Sudan, and called on the Sudanese government to release rights activists, and to respect the freedom of religion.
The court also sentenced to 12 years in prison the Pastor Hassan Abdel Rahim and the activist Abdel-Moneim Abdel-Mawla for rendering criminal assistance to the Czech journalist, disseminating false information about the country and inciting hatred against religious communities.
In Prague, the Czech foreign ministry swiftly rejected the ruling of the Sudanese court, pointing that there was no evidence to support his conviction or sentence, according to the Associated Press.
In a statement released on Sunday the Czech foreign ministry said a deputy foreign minister would travel to Sudan in the coming days to try to negotiate Jasek’s release and if necessary, Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek is ready go there, too.
Prague further said Jasek is in relatively good condition.