Petr Jasek, a Czech Christian imprisoned in Sudan for 11 months, threatened next Monday with death penalty or life imprisonment
Urgent Action: Participate in our campaign for his release
Arrested in December 2015
HRWF (17.11.2016) – Petr Jasek, a Czech Christian aid worker, is currently on trial in Sudan along with two Sudanese pastors and another Sudanese man. On Monday 21st November, there will be a court hearing about his case.
He was arrested in December 2015 and held for eight months before charges were filed in August 2016. Mr. Jasek and the three others have been charged with at least seven offenses, some of which carry the potential death penalty or life imprisonment.
Mr. Jasek and the other men are accused of breaking several sections of Sudan’s criminal code: conspiring against the state, espionage against the country, entering and photographing military areas and works, calling for opposition to public authority by use of violence, provoking hatred against or amongst sects, and publishing false news. In addition, they also face charges of immigrating in illegal ways and conducting voluntary jobs without permission from the authorities under Sudan’s immigration and passport laws.
In November 2015, Mr. Jasek, Rev. Hassan Abduraheem and Rev. Kuwa Shamal attended a conference for Christian leaders where Rev. Abduraheem was a presenter. While speaking on his work as a church leader in Sudan, Rev. Abduraheem showed a picture of a young man from Darfur who had been badly injured during a demonstration. Mr. Jasek later met with the injured man in Khartoum and donated money toward the man’s medical treatment. As Mr. Jasek left Sudan, he was searched by the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), who discovered a receipt for the donation to the injured man. They then confiscated his personal belongings, including his mobile phone, laptop and camera.
Nine days after arresting Mr. Jasek, NISS officers arrested Rev. Abduraheem, who had signed the receipt, and Rev. Shamal. Charges were officially filed in August 2016. At least three court dates have been delayed because a translator failed to appear in court.
Mr. Jasek, who has much experience and training in hospital administration, has assisted a NGO in delivering aid to displaced and suffering Christians in Sudan and Nigeria. While his work has always been humanitarian in nature, the Sudanese government has sought to characterize him as a “filmmaker” who was conspiring against the Sudanese state. They claim that his donation toward medical care for the injured young man was actually support for South Sudanese rebels.
Mr. Jasek denies all the charges.
Campaign for his release: What you can do and what you should do!
1. Write a letter to the embassy of Sudan in Brussels to ask for his release:
Embassy of Sudan: firstname.lastname@example.org
124 Avenue Franklin Roosevelt, 1050 Brussels. Belgium
Tel.: +32 2 647 9494
Fax: +32 2 648 3499
and/or to the embassy of Sudan in your country. See the list at:
Model of letter
Subject: Release of Petr Jasek, a citizen of the Czech Republic, an EU member state
Petr Jasek, a Czech Christian aid worker, is currently on trial in Sudan. On Monday 21 November, there will be a court hearing about his case.
He was arrested in December 2015 and held for eight months before charges were filed in August 2016. Mr. Jasek has been charged with at least seven offenses, some of which carry the potential death penalty or life imprisonment.
Mr. Jasek met with an injured man in Khartoum and donated money toward the man’s medical treatment. As Mr. Jasek left Sudan, he was searched by the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), who discovered a receipt for the donation to the injured man. They then confiscated his personal belongings, including his mobile phone, laptop and camera.
Mr. Jasek has much experience and training in hospital administration. He has assisted an NGO in delivering aid to displaced and suffering people in Sudan and Nigeria. While his work has always been humanitarian in nature, your government has characterized him as a “filmmaker” who was conspiring against the Sudanese state. The authorities of your country also claim that his donation toward medical care for the injured young man was actually support for South Sudanese rebels. Peter Jasek strongly denies this charge and any involvement in political matters in Sudan.
I am hereby urging the authorities of your country to release him.
2. Other actions
Forward this newsletter to other Christians and other people.
Post our call on Facebook, Twitter and any other social media.
Raise this issue during your religious and prayer meetings.
The International Religious Freedom Roundtable in Washington asks for the release of Peter Jacek and Sudanese religious leaders
Letter to President Omar al-Bashir, Embassy of the Republic of Sudan 2210 Massachusetts Ave. Washington, D.C. 20008
Dear President al-Bashir,
We write as an informal group of organizations and individuals who are scholars, religious and secular leaders, and human rights advocates to express our deep concern over the arrest and imprisonment of Christian aid worker and Czech national Petr Jasek, Sudanese religious leaders Hassan Abduraheem and Kuwa Shamal of the Sudan Church of Christ, and Darfuri activist Mr. Abdulmonem Abdumawla.
Mr. Jasek, Reverend Abduraheem and Mr. Abdumawla were detained in December of 2015 by officers of the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) and held for over eight months before receiving formal charges. Their arrest centered around a receipt, carried by Mr. Jasek and signed by Reverend Abduraheem and Mr. Abdumawla, showing that Mr. Jasek had donated money towards the medical treatment of Mr. Ali Omer, a Darfuri burn victim injured during demonstrations in 2013. Reverend Shamal, who did not sign the receipt, was obliged to report to NISS for several months before being arrested in May of this year, seemingly on account of his senior role in the Sudan Church of Christ and his ethnicity.
In August, all four men were charged jointly with multiple offenses, including waging war against the state and espionage, both of which carry the death penalty as the maximum sentence. These charges come despite the fact that Mr. Jasek’s work, and the assistance he received from others, was purely humanitarian in nature. Mr. Jasek’s work focused on medical assistance, whereas Abduraheem and Shamal are pastors of the Sudan Church of Christ, providing aid and assistance to their congregation and the Sudanese people. The work of Mr. Abdumawla, who is a friend of Mr. Omar’s, focused on advocating for human rights.
Unfortunately, the extended detainment and imprisonment of these four men appears to be only the latest development in a pattern of hostility towards religious and ethnic minorities in Sudan. On October 24th, the Sudanese government seized control of the Evangelical Basic School in Madani after briefly detaining school staff who attempted to resist the takeover. Classes were subsequently postponed for over 1,000 students while the Ministry of Education formed a new government appointed committee to run the school. In early October, officials from the State Ministry of Planning and Urban Development notified five churches in Khartoum that their buildings would be demolished to make way for “investments.” In Darfur, displaced people continue to experience violence from government-allied militia, including alarming levels of sexual violence, and protests by Darfuri students are often met with violence.
As you know, Sudan is a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 18 of which protects the right to freedom of religion or belief. Article 38 of the 2005 Interim National Constitution of Sudan also provides for freedom of religion or belief throughout the country. The Constitution also states that as well as being multi religious, the country is multi-cultural, multilingual, multi-racial and multi-ethnic. We believe that the imprisonment of Petr Jasek and the other individuals in this case is not only a violation of these treaties, but that a careful review of their case will lead to their quick and unconditional release.
In October, the European Parliament adopted a resolution which noted the imprisonment of Mr. Jasek and his fellow detainees, saying that “threats against church leaders and the intimidation of Christian communities have continued at an accelerated pace [in Sudan].” The resolution called on the Sudanese government to “reaffirm that freedom of religion, conscience and belief is a universal human right…”
In the past, we have applauded the release of other prisoners of conscience by Sudanese officials, including Pastors Peter Yein Reith and Yat Michael Ruot in August of 2015 and Mrs. Meriam Ibrahim in June of 2014. In each of these cases, it was found that the original justification for their arrest proved groundless, and we believe the same will found in this case.
President al-Bashir, the release of these men would send a strong signal to the international community that Sudan is committed to both its own constitution and its international treaty obligations. We urge you to instruct the Ministry of Justice to quickly review the evidence presented in this case and to drop all charges against these individuals. No one in Sudan, foreign or national, should be prosecuted simply for attempting to provide humanitarian relief or because of their sincerely held religious beliefs. We thank you for your attention to this urgent matter and we look forward to your response.
Names of the NGOs signing the letter
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