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Sudanese opposition denounces continued detention of activists

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June 28, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese opposition forces have condemned the continued arrest of civil society activists from the Centre for Training and Human Development (Tracks) since two months ago.

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Sadiq al Mahdi, Farouk Abu Issa and Minni Minnawi join hands after the signing of the Sudan Call in Addis Ababa on 3 December 2014 (ST)

On May 22, eight activists from Tracks have been arrested after they were summoned to the Office of the Prosecutor for Crimes against the State for charges filed against them by the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS).

Five of the activists were later released while three of them are still in detention.

In a statement extended to Sudan Tribune on Tuesday, several opposition alliances, armed forces and civil society organizations including the National Consensus Forces , Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/North, National Umma Party, Sudan Liberation Movment led by Abdel-Wahid al-Nur, Justice and Equality Movement, Civil Society Initiative, Change Now Movement and Darfur Civil Society Orgnizations Forum have denounced detention of Tracks employees.

It pointed that NISS has stormed several homes of the relatives of Tracks executive director Khalaf Allah al-Afif and arrested his brothers and seized their money, describing the move as mere blackmailing for the political activists by targeting, detaining and torturing their relatives.

The statement said what is happening to Tracks employees prove that the NISS is the effective ruler of the country, pointing to its absolute powers and manipulation of the judiciary.

It added that Tracks employees were not only arrested for their civil society work but also because they hold intellectual views and enlightened political projects against the NISS and the regime, dismissing the fabricated charges that were filed against them and the continued manipulation of the judiciary to serve political agenda of the regime.

The opposition forces demanded the NISS to show respect for the law and the dignity of the Sudanese people and to stop acting as security arm of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP).

It also demanded the judicial organs not to blindly follow the directives of the NISS and the desires of the ruling clique, urging them to release the detainees.

The opposition forces further stressed that they seek to change the regime to establish a state that is subject to the rule of law and that respects the dignity and human rights of its citizens.

Since three years ago, NISS has intensified its crackdown on the cultural and human rights centres and ordered closure of most of them accusing the organisations of receiving foreign funding and being linked to opposition and working to topple the regime.

In December 2012, Sudanese authorities closed three civil society groups: Sudanese Studies Centre (SSC), KACE, the Organisation for Human Rights and Development (ARRY). The Cultural Forum for Literary Criticism, a literary forum, was also closed.

In March 2014, NISS banned for the first time a celebration of Women’s Day organised by the Salmmah Women’s Resource Centre and other groups.

Also, in January 2015 NISS raided the Mahmoud Mohamed Taha Cultural Centre in Khartoum’s twin city of Omdurman and ordered its closure.

(ST)

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