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Six Sudanese activists charged with espionage and terrorism

This statement was originally published on freedomhouse.org on 18 August 2016.

Following the filing of capital charges against six civil society activists associated with Training and Human Development (TRACKs), Freedom House issued the following statement:

"Authorities in Sudan have charged Khalaf-Allah Al-Afif Muktar, Mustafa Adam, Midhat Afifaddin Hamadan, Arwa Al-Rabie, Imany-Leila Ray, and Al-Hassan Kheiry with espionage and terrorism, charges that are preposterous and were brought against these individuals for exercising the fundamental right to free association," said Vukasin Petrovic, director for Africa programs. "The government of Sudan should either drop these absurd charges or ensure a speedy and fair trial. It should allow observers to attend all proceedings and guarantee the defendants' right to receive visitors in prison."

Background:

After 86 days in detention without charge, Khalaf-Allah Al-Afif Muktar, Mustafa Adam and Midhat Afifaddin Hamadan have been charged under the Criminal Act Article 50 (Undermining the Constitutional System), Article 51 (Waging War Against the State), Article 53 (Espionage) and Article 65 (Criminal and Terrorist Organizations). Arwa Al-Rabie, Imany-Leila Ray and Al-Hassan Kheiry, who had been released on bail, were also charged with these four crimes. Adam and Hamadan have also been charged under Article 14 of the Information Crimes Law.

TRACKs, a Khartoum-based organization, has been raided twice during the last two years by Sudan's National Intelligence and Security Services, which has confiscated the passports of staff members. In April 2015 criminal charges-some carrying the death penalty-were brought against TRACKs Director Khalafalla Alafif Mukhtar and Adil Bakheit, a human rights defender and member of the Board of Directors for Sudanese Human Rights Monitor.

Sudan is rated Not Free in Freedom in the World 2016, Not Free in Freedom of the Press 2016, and Not Free in Freedom on the Net 2015.

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