18 May 2014

Sudan: Arrest of Sudan's Former President 'Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi' Is a Serious Surge of Repression Policy

press release

Cairo — The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) today decried the Sudanese authorities' ongoing adoption of the old repressive policy.

On Saturday 17 May 2014, security forces apprehended veteran politician and former Sudanese President Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi from his house.

Al-Mahdi was detained against the backdrop of his recent speech delivered in "Al-Gazeira" state, in which he described the security by using harsh words.

Noteworthy, Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi was interrogated, on Thursday 15 May 2014, over the statements, in which he criticized the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and their practices in Darfur region.

These statements led the Sudanese security service to charge Al-Mahdi with disseminating false news and rumors as well as disturbing the public peace and security, and distorting the reputation of the state.

On their part, the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) launched a vicious attack on Al-Mahdi owing to his statements as they accused him of lying and fabricating facts; referring to his speech about the existence of international reports that condemn such groups.

Al-Mahdi bore the Sudanese authorities the responsibility of what happened and is happening in Darfur; criticizing RSF's repressive security practices.

He also pointed out in his speech that the current regime should be fallen either through a popular revolution or a dialogue that would lead to its disintegration.

In addition, he noted out that his party has started to adopt what he called "the quiet revolution".

It is worth mentioning that Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi took the helm of Sudan in the periods from 1967 to 1969 and from 1986 to 1989.

Al-Mahdi, the Sudanese politician and the veteran intellectual, is the head of the Umma Party. He has a long history of political activity that started from 1961, and occupied several political and party positions.

ANHRI said that, "The detention of the veteran politician and former Sudanese President "Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi" clearly indicates the Sudanese authorities' desire to get rid of all opponents, without any distinction or awareness of the consequences that may result from such a decision".

The Arabic Network calls on the Sudanese authorities to urgently release Sudan's former President Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi, and to immediately halt the repressive gagging policy pursued by the Sudanese authorities.

A high-level, transparent and impartial investigation should be conducted into all violations committed by the Sudanese authorities along with RSF against dissidents and citizens throughout Sudan, ANHRI demands.

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