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Opposition politician arrested after publicly criticising Sudan's Rapid Support Forces

Sudanese Armed Forces and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) personnel ride on a tank after recapturing the Daldako area, 20 May 2014.
Sudanese Armed Forces and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) personnel ride on a tank after recapturing the Daldako area, 20 May 2014.

REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) condemns the Sudanese security bodies' surge of repression and targeting of Sudan's opposition leaders in a bid to gag them, intimidate critics and put them in prison. On Sunday June 8, security bodies arrested the head of the Sudanese Congress Party, Ibrahim Al-Sheikh Abdulrahman at his house in En-Nahud city, West Kordofan state, along with Mohamed Youssef, the party leader. The detention came in response to Al-Sheikh Abdulrahman's criticism of the so-called Rapid Support Forces (RSF) during a seminar convened by the party at Al-Huriya square in En-Nahud city on Saturday, June 7.

It is reported that Sudanese forces had surrounded Ibrahim Al-Sheikh Abdulrahman's house and the party's headquarters with 22 armed vehicles plus soldiers. Six charges have been brought against Ibrahim Al-Sheikh by Sudanese authorities, including disseminating false news, undermining the constitutional order, calling for an armed opposition, tarnishing the regime's image, and disturbing the public order.

Sudan's Congress Party is one of the most important and the largest opposition parties that are against the ruling regime in Sudan. It was founded in the aftermath of the Sudanese Revolution that toppled the Nimeiri regime in 1986. It is regarded as the cynosure of the opponents who are independent of any parties in Sudan.

“What Sudanese security bodies commited is part of the strategy that has been recently adopted by the authorities for the purpose of muzzling voices of dissent and silencing anti-Sudanese regime voices. The arrest of Al-Sheikh Abdulrahman occurred shortly after the arrest of Sadiq Al-Mahdi for his objection to the regime's practices, in successive blows directed by the Sudanese authorities against freedom of opinion and expression. Such a matter places the state of human rights at the edge of the abyss”, ANHRI believes.

ANHRI demands the urgent release Al-Sheikh Abdulrahman together with Mohamed Youssef, and to ensure their security, safety and freedom. ANHRI calls for the opening of a fair and transparent investigation into the crimes that are claimed to be committed by RSF. ANHRI also calls for announcing the results of the investigations over the internal and international public opinion.

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