Home | News    Friday 25 February 2011

Sudan frees jailed journalists of pro-opposition paper

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February 24, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan on Tuesday released from prison two journalists of the suspended pro-opposition newspaper, Ray al-Sha’b, after spending a year behind bars in Kober Federal Penitentiary in Khartoum north.

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A photo of Ray al-Sha’b’s deputy editor-in-chief Abu Zar Ali Al-Amin showing bruises he sustained as a result of torture by Sudan’s security agents

The two journalists, head of the paper’s political news desk Al-Tahir Abu Jawahr and news editor Ashraf Mohamed Abudul Azizi, were sentenced to prison on July 15, 2010 in a trail denounced as sham by activists and international organizations.

Their arrest took place a month earlier on 15 May when NISS agents raided the offices of Ray al-Sha’b after it published a report alleging that members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards had constructed a weapons factory in Khartoum to manufacture arms intended to be supplied to Islamists in Somalia and Hamas movement.

Ray al-Sha’b is unofficially the mouthpiece of the Islamic opposition Popular Congress Party (PCP) whose leader Hassan Al-Turabi was ousted from power after he fell out with President Al-Bashir in the famous 1999’s schism in the ruling National Islamic Front.

The paper’s deputy editor-in-chief, Abu Zar Al-Amin, was also arrested and subjected to brutal torture before he was sentenced to prison, where he is still held, on charges of terrorism, espionage and destabilizing the constitutional system.

The PCP organized an event in Khartoum on Wednesday to celebrate the release of the two journalists.

“I won’t talk about how they beat or torture me for it is natural and well-known, but I want to reproach the Association of Sudanese Journalists and denounce the way in which the Sudanese judiciary is being run, I only met my lawyers inside the courtroom!,” Al-Tahir Abu Jawahr told a crowd of PCP supporters.

PCP leader Hassan Al-Turabi is currently detained since last month after he warned that the government could face a Tunisian-style revolution if it continued to resist calls for reforms.

(ST)

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