9 January 2013

Sudan: Security Forces Arrest Opposition Party Leaders

press release

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI), denounces the arrest of several opposition party leaders by security forces. The leaders were arrested upon their return from Uganda, where they had attended a meeting to discuss the overthrow of Omar al-Bashir's brutal regime.

Sudanese security forces and state intelligence officials arrested the leaders on 7 January 2013, on the basis of their participation in a meeting about political and military opposition in Kampala, Uganda. The leaders were also arrested for signing the New Dawn Charter [a document seeking to overthrow the leading National Congress Party].

Security forces arrested Gamal Idris, the president of the Nasserite Unionist Socialist Party, Intsar El-Akly, the leader of the Nasserite Party, Mohamed Zain El-Abeeden and Dr. Abdulrahim Abdullah, both leaders of the union movement and members of the delegation of national unanimity.

The escalating methods adopted by the National Congress Party (NCP), the governing party of Sudan, and their quest to undermine and abuse political opposition were all motives to sign the New Dawn Charter, according to opposition leaders. The charter stipulates that its signatories shall work diligently until the overthrow of the regime and shall call on advocates to participate in this peaceful struggle.

ANHRI said that "the security forces' harassment of the opposition is a serious violation of basic human rights and their freedom to express their political opinions and stances freely and safely."

ANHRI added that "the arrest of party leaders without warrant and without pressing specific charges - in addition to arresting them in an unknown place as well as not guaranteeing their natural rights which are represented in mandating representatives to defend them - are serious violations to the adopted international norms in dealing with detainees."

"We can't imagine that a country like Sudan, which is in such a state of crisis with respect to human rights, would seek to aggravate the crisis instead of opening channels of communication and dialogue between the government and the opposition, whose ranks are increasing by the day."

ANHRI calls for the immediate release of the political opposition and its leaders, arbitrarily detained in Sudanese prisons. These prisons are filled with members of the opposition instead of the criminals and thugs released by security forces to terrorize the opposition in the North, East and West of the Sudan.

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