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Sudanese government releases dozens of political detainees

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NUP Secretary General Sarah Nugdalla leaving Kober prison in Khartoum on 18 February 2018 (ST Photo)
February 18, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese authorities Sunday released dozens of activists and political detainees almost from the National Umma Party (NUP) while have kept in jail the leaders of left forces including the leaders of the Sudanese Communist Party (SCP) and Sudanese Congress Party (SCoP).

Among the released detainees are Sarah Nugdalla, NUP secretary general, Amal Habani, a journalist and political activist, two daughters and a son of NUP leader Sadiq al-Mahdi. Also, among the released women were released two daughters of the SCoP former leader Ibrahim al-Sheikh and Nahid Jabrallah, an activist.

However, Mohamed Mukhtar al-Khatib SCP political secretary and Omer al-Digair SCoP leader were not among the freed political detainees. The same for left cadres such as Kamal Karar, a journalist of al-Midan newspaper, the organ of the Communist Party.

Speaking to the press from inside Kober prison in Khartoum, Presidential Assistant Abdel-Rahman Sadiq al-Mahdi announced "the release of about 80 political detainees on the directives of President Omer al-Bashir".

He didn’t explain why other dozens remain in prison without charges but stressed that the presidency is working to "treat the disease which is the political dispute and not its symptoms and to remove the reasons that led to the protests and detention"

The presidential assistant said the government will reach all the political forces without distinction to ensure the respect of human rights and removal of the political polarization in the country.

Following the increase of bread prices earlier last January, opposition groups staged several protests against the austerity measures and called to overthrow the regime of President al-Bashir.

The security services arrested leaders of the opposition groups, sometimes, even before an announced street protest. Also, reporters were arrested for covering the demonstrations.

However, nearly two weeks ago, the security service released Siddiq Yousef a leading member of the Sudanese Communist Party, for medical reasons.

In a statement released after the release of its figures and members, the NUP welcomed the move and called to cancel the recent austerity measures. Also, it called to repeal all laws that restrict freedoms including the National Security Act and the Press and Publications Law.

The opposition party stressed they will continue to resist the regime until its removal and the establishment of a regime that "fulfils the legitimate aspirations of our people for freedom, dignity, justice and a decent life".

(ST)

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