July 26, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – Two members of Sudan’s anti-government group, Grifina, are due to appear in court on 29 July to face charges stemming from their involvement in a protest earlier this month.
- FILE PHOTO - Girifna members including Rudwan Dawoud (L)
Girifna’s website reported that the pair, Rudwan Dawoud and Ahmad Kawarti, was arrested among a group of 14 people following a protest they organised in Al-Haj Youssef area of Khartoum North on 13 July.
The protest is part of a wave of demonstrations that erupted in the capital Khartoum and later spread to other regional towns since last month in response to worsening economic conditions and government plans to end fuel subsidies.
After several postponements of the trial, the judges acquitted and released all other defendants except the Dawoud and Kawarti who stand accused of “establishing a terrorist organization”, a charge punishable by 10 years in prison.
Testifying before the court, members of the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) which arrested the activists said that Dawoud and Kawarti were planning to instigate acts of violence against the state.
Human rights groups say hundreds of Sudanese activists have been arrested and some tortured in detention since the outbreak of the protests.
The government says it does not prevent peaceful expression of dissent.