Home | News    Sunday 15 March 2015

Sudan releases opposition leaders after brief detention at event


March 14, 2015 (KHARTOUM) – The National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) blocked a symposium of opposition forces in the state capital of North Kordofan state al-Obayid on Saturday evening and arrested more than two dozen attendees before releasing them later.

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Sarah Nugdalla (ST)

The event was part of the "Leave" campaign launched last month asking voters to boycott the elections.

Among those taken into custody were the Secretary General of the National Umma Party (NUP) Sarah Nugdalla. Unionist Movement figure Mohammad Yacoub Shadad in addition to 34 other opposition figures.

According to Abubakr Yusuf, spokesman for the National Consensus Forces (NCF), police units surrounded the building where the event was scheduled to take place and prevented the crowds from reaching it.

NISS and police dispersed the crowd by firing tear gas canisters and rubber bullets.

Yusuf said that authorities carried out mass arrests against 34 of the opposition leaders in northern Kordofan along with others who traveled from Khartoum who planned to address the event.

Eyewitnesses said that authorities stormed the house and confiscated the seats before closing down the house in the face of crowds flocking to attend.

The incident is the latest in series of measures taken by authorities in different parts of the country to stop opposition forces from holding similar events.

Sudan is less than a month away from general elections that is boycotted by most major opposition forces.

Last month, the opposition alliance of the National Consensus Forces (NCF) and the opposition Reform Now Movement (RNM) launched two separate campaigns to boycott elections.

These forces want elections postponed until the formation of a national government for a transitional period that would oversee the drafting of a new constitution and fair elections.

Sudanese officials including president Hassan al-Bashir dismissed the campaign which also calls on him to resign and stressed that it does not frighten him.


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