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Sudan’s opposition party members to face trial Monday


October 3, 2015 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s opposition Reform Now Movement (RNM) led by Ghazi al-Attabani said that four of its members who have been accused of disturbing public peace will be brought before court on Sunday, 4 October.

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Ghazi Salah Al-Deen

RNM chairman in Khartoum state Khaled Nouri, his deputy Ja’afar al-Sadiq, politburo member Sami Abdul-Wahab and Nagi Imam who is charge of students and youths sector in the party were arrested while addressing a gathering in Karkar Bus Station in Khartoum last month.

They were charged with violating articles 69 and 77 of the Penal Code, punishable by imprisonment, fine and/or lashing.

In a statement extended to Sudan Tribune on Saturday, RNM criticized the government’s lack of commitment to the Bill of Rights and to creating an enabling environment for national dialogue.

It added that freedoms of expression, gathering and association are granted by the constitution, saying the decision of its members “to take to the street is a lawful exercise of their constitutional rights”.

“Since Executive Order 158 was issued by the President, presumably to enhance political freedoms, the state of freedoms has actually deteriorated”, it said.

“The four RNM members said they wanted to prove this and to expose government hypocrisy on the issue of freedom”, the statement added.

The RNM further said that trying its four members and possibly lashing them for having exercised their right to peaceful protest and expression would be a major embarrassment to the government and organisers of the national dialogue which will convene on October 10 th.

Sudan Tribune has learnt that RNM’s defence team would include 25 lawyers headed by and leading figure at the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) Ali Ahmed al-Sayed.

Al-Sayed told Sudan Tribune that the defence team would also plead for three other citizens being arrested alongside the RNM members in Karkar Bus Station.
He said the defence team is open for all lawyers who which to join it, noting that 30 lawyers have so far volunteered to join the team.

Al-Sayed said the trial of the RNM members represent a clear human rights violation, pointing to previous trials and lashing of the members of the opposition Sudanese Congress Party (SCoP).

He described the lashing of the SCoP members as “major abuse”, saying “we don’t want it to be repeated with the RNM members and we will defend them”.


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