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Sudan makes 'bad faith' release of political prisoners

This statement was originally published on freedomhouse.org on 10 April 2015.

In response to the Sudanese government's release of political prisoners Farouk Abu Issa and Amin Meki Medani on April 9, Freedom House issued the following statement:

"The release of Farouk Abu Issa and Amin Meki Medani is good news, but the original charges against them were completely groundless," said Vukasin Petrovic, regional director for Africa. "We should not praise the government for releasing people it had no right to imprison in the first place. Releasing the detainees three days before an election is part of President Bashir's effort to legitimize a tainted electoral process."

Background:

Farouk Abu Issa, head of the opposition alliance National Consensus Forces (NCF), and Amin Mekki Medani, chairman of the Confederation of Civil Society Organizations, were arrested on December 6, 2014, after returning from Ethiopia and charged with terrorism, undermining the constitutional system, and waging war against the state, all punishable by death. The two were in Addis Ababa to sign the Sudan Call Declaration, an agreement among Sudanese political opposition parties and civil society to boycott the upcoming elections.

Sudan is rated Not Free in "Freedom in the World 2015", Not Free in "Freedom of the Press 2014", and Not Free in "Freedom on the Net 2014".

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