24 April 2018

Sudan: North Kordofan Hearing of Islamic Party Members Postponed

El Obeid — The judge of a court in El Obeid, North Kordofan, has postponed the hearing of fifteen defendants accused of public nuisance to next month.

The defendants are the secretary-general and members of the Islamic Liberation Party (Hizb et-Tahrir), whom were arrested for organising a public speech on April 4. The court in the state capital heard the accusation of the complainant and three witnesses on Sunday.

All of them came from the security police and police detectives, and stated that there is no indication of public nuisance. However, they considered the gathering as dangerous in the circumstances of the fuel crisis and hike of prices in Sudan.

The court has postponed the hearing of the defendants until May 21, in order to look further into the case.

Lawyer Fagir Haj Mohamed Ahmed told Radio Dabanga from El Obeid that the party and Secretary-General Khalid Hassan Idris were arrested while organising a speech in front of El Obeid Mosque on April 4.

"The party had written letters to the security authorities, the commissioner and the governor, informing them of their intention to hold the speech at the Freedom Square in El Obeid. But all these parties did not respond which prompted them to hold the speech in front of the square of the mosque on that date."

Mohamed Ahmed added that the security service arrived and asked them to end the speech. "When they refused to do so, they arrested the head of the party, Ibrahim Osman Abukhalil, as the first accused, together with Ahmed Wadaa, communications officer."

Fifteen other people were also arrested, who are being charged with 'public nuisance' under Article 77 of the Criminal Code.

"After an assessment we found that Article 77 on public nuisance does not apply to the defendants under another article - so we have filed criminal proceedings for the removal of charges against our clients."

The Islamic Liberation Party is an international and pan-Islamist political organisation which aims to establish the Islamic Caliphate in Sudan and other countries.

Correction 15:30 : This article previously stated that members of the Muslim Brotherhood were accused of the mentioned crime, due to a translation error. This has been corrected.

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