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UK lawmakers call to press Sudan to release detained British national

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 In this undated picture, Sidqi Kaballo (R) with his son Ahmed at the Meroe Pyramids (Photo Ahmed Kaballo)
March 28, 2018 (LONDON) - British Members of Parliament (MPs) Wednesday called on the Foreign Secretary to put pressure on the Sudanese government to release a British-Sudanese national Sidqi Kaballo who is arrested without charge last January.

Kaballo a leading member of the Sudanese Communist Party (SCP) was arrested on 16 January after a peaceful demonstration to protest the increase of bread price. He also other opposition figures are held without charge or trial.

In their letter to the Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, a cross-party group of 23 MPs and Peers thanked him for raising Kaballo’s case with the Sudanese government and requesting consular access.

"It is however over two months since Dr Kaballo was first arrested and he remains arbitrarily detained without charge or trial. His family have no indication of how long he will remain detained and are naturally extremely concerned for his welfare," said the lawmakers

"Their concerns regarding the circumstances of Dr Kaballo’s detention are exacerbated by his age and his need for medication as a diabetic," they further stressed.

The exact number of the detainees is unknown but opposition sources said the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) have detained 411 activists during the recent protests against austerity measures.

Last February, the Sudanese authorities said they released some 80 detainees. Also, additional activists have been freed but many others remain in jail including the leaders of the Sudanese Congress Party, the Sudanese Communist Party and the Unionist Alliance.

After the release of National Umma Party detained leaders, NISS Director Salah Gosh said their release depends on the conduct of their parties.

The MPs and Peers signatories of the letter are All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Sudan and South Sudan(APPG) or have been by contacted by constituents about the human rights situation in Sudan.

“It’s unacceptable that Dr Kaballo, a British citizen, has been held in detention without charge or trial for over two months," said Sir Henry Bellingham, the head of All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Sudan and South Sudan Chair APPG Sudan & South Sudan.

For his part, Richard Burden MP, who has written the letter to the Foreign Secretary, regretted Kaballo’s absence from a celebration for his 70th birthday his family organizing on Wednesday.

“Today Dr Kaballo should be in my constituency celebrating his 70th birthday with his family and friends. His family were planning a big celebration for the occasion. What they were not planning for was Dr Kaballo to be thousands of miles from his family in a prison cell in Darfur," Burden said.

(ST)

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