12 June 2014

Sudan: Police Use Tear Gas to Disperse Crowds at Trial of Opposition Leader

Khartoum — Sudan's police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse crowds who had gathered in front of Alnuhud court on Thursday to attend the trial of the leader of the opposition Sudanese Congress Party (SCP), Ibrahim Al-Shiekh.

Al-Sheikh, was arrested on Sunday in Alnuhud town in North Kordofan after a meeting where he slammed the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) militia which is accused of committing war crimes and atrocities against civilians in Darfur region and South Kordofan.

The defence team of the SCP leader was surprised that the court session was cancelled and the prosecutor's office in Alnuhud was closed.

TSCP spokesperson Bakri Youssef told Sudan Tribune that the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) who is the accuser in the case has withdrawn the complaint in order to added or delete items in the charge-sheet.

Al-Sheikh is facing the same charges of defamation against the government troops, breach of public peace, as the leader of the National Umma Party (NUP), al-Sadiq al-Mahdi, who has been in jail since 17 May.

Those charges are punishable by death, life imprisonment and sentences ranging from a few months to several years and confiscation of money.

Youssef noted that Alnuhud saw security reinforcements since Thursday morning, saying the police closed the town's entry points in the face of Al-Shiekh's defence team who were coming from North Kordofan state capital of El-Obeid.

He added the police also closed all roads leading to the town's court besides surrounding Al-Shiekh's house and the SCP headquarters in Alnuhud.

According to him, the SCP secretary general, Abdel-Qaiuom Awad al-Sid, and deputy chairman, al-Fatih Omer al-Sayed, were inside al-Shiekh's house when the police surrounded it.

Youssef further pointed that NISS arrested several SCP members including Slama Al-Nour Yassen, Kholoud Al-Amin, Alshazali Ahmed, and the SCP's youth secretary, Nour Al-Din Babiker.

Meanwhile, the SCP on Thursday organised a protest in front of the registrar of political parties and organizations headquarters and handed him over a memorandum protesting the arrest campaign against political parties' leaders and activists.

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