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EU calls for immediate release of Sudan opposition leaders

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Anti-riot policeman arrest a protester who took part in a demonstration against increase of bred price 31 January 2018 (ST Photo)
January 31, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - The European Union (EU) ambassadors in Khartoum have expressed deep concerns over the continued detention of Sudan’s opposition leaders and rights activists demanding their immediate release.

Following peaceful protests against price hikes earlier this month, the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) has detained dozens of opposition leaders and activists.

Those detained include the political secretary of the Sudanese Communist Party (SCP) Mohamed Mukhtar al-Khatib besides members of the SCP Central Committee, Siddig Youssef and Sidqi Kabalo and the chairman of the Sudanese Congress Party (SCoP) Omer al-Digair.

The NISS also detained the secretary general of the National Umma Party (NUP) Sarrah Nugd Allah as well as two of the party’s deputy chairman, Mohamed Abdallah al-Douma and Ibrahim al-Amin.

“The Ambassadors of the resident EU Embassies in Sudan are very concerned by the prolonged detention without charge or trial of a large number of political leaders, human rights activists and other citizens, and by the repeated seizures of national newspapers,” said the EU mission in Khartoum in a press release on Wednesday

The EU Ambassadors called on the Sudanese government to release “all these detainees as soon as possible, to ensure they are not mistreated and to respect the right of Sudanese people to peaceful freedom of expression and association, including freedom of the media”

“We condemn the violence used against peaceful protest and continue to encourage those exercising their fundamental rights to do so peacefully” read the press release

Opposition sources estimate that more than 170 activists have been detained during the protests over the rising cost of living and commodity price.

The EU Ambassadors further stressed commitment to “a stable, democratic and prosperous future for Sudan, for the benefit of its people”.

(ST)

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