13 July 2018

Sudan: Prosecution Withdraws Complaint Against Darfuri Sheikh

Khartoum Bahri — The State Security Prosecution has withdrawn the complaint against Sheikh Matar Younis and Adam Haroun, and has postponed the trial planned for yesterday to an indefinite date.

The first session against sheikh Matar Younis, who has been detained since early April, and shop owner Ahmed Haroun was scheduled to take place on Thursday. They are facing three counts of undermining the constitutional order, staging war against the state and espionage; charges amounting to death if convicted.

The head of the defence of Sheikh Matar and Adam Haroun, lawyer Saleh Mahmoud, told Radio Dabanga: "The prosecution withdrew the file from the court in accordance with the Criminal Procedure Code. They returned it for completion of the investigation, which stopped the process of the court examining the complaint."

In response the defence team made a request to the court to write off the proceedings against the defendants for a lack of evidence.

Mahmoud: "The defence has also filed a request to expedite the completion of the investigation procedures and return the file to the court. This to take into consideration that the defendants had been kept in detention for a long time."

Ahmed Haroun was arrested in his shop in El Geneina market and also transferred to Khartoum in December 2017. The visually impaired Sheikh Younis was arrested at Zalingei market early April.

Ahead of the court session on yesterday, Seif Magango, Amnesty International Deputy Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes released a press statement saying: "Matar Younis has been one of the few voices for victims in Darfur who has consistently, fearlessly and publicly asked the government to change its harmful policies and protect the displaced people of Darfur. He should not be criminalized for standing up for human rights."

Amnesty International earlier confirmed that Hussein was being held at the NISS detention centre at Kober Prison in Khartoum and was denied access to a lawyer and his family.

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