SUDAN: Call for the release of Rev. Hassan ABDURAHEEM and Mr. Abdumonem ABDUMAWLA

HRWF (07.03.2017) – Czech aid worker, Petr Jašek, was released from Sudanese prison last week after being pardoned and freed by President Omar Bashir. However, the two Sudanese church leaders he was arrested alongside, Hassan Abduraheem and Abdumonem Abdumawla, are still imprisoned.

HRWF calls for the Sudanese government to release Reverend Hassan Abduraheem and Mr. Abdumonem Abdumawla. The details of their case can be found below followed by instructions for joining our effort.

Rev. Hassan Abduraheem and Mr. Abdumonem Abdumawla

On 29 January 2017, Rev. Abduraheem and Mr. Abdumawla, both Christians, were found guilty of espionage and abatement, inciting hatred between religious groups, and propagation of false news. They were sentenced to a total of twelve years imprisonment each. Both men were arrested in December 2015 for “aiding and abetting” Petr Jasek in his alleged spying and were held for eight months before charges were filed in August 2016.

Facts about the case of Mr. Abdumonem Abdumawla

Mr Abdumawla was arrested by the NISS in December 2015 after he began collecting money to help his friend, Ali Omer, a young Darfuri student, who had been injured and seriously burned during a demonstration in July 2013. Mr Abdumawla was put in contact with Reverend Abduraheem and Mr Jašek, who then donated money towards Mr Omer’s treatment.

Mr Abdumawla was held by the NISS between December 2015 and May 2016 and was not allowed to meet or communicate with his family during this time. He was moved to the Attorney General’s custody in May 2016 when the prosecutor started his criminal investigation. Mr Abdumawla is currently being held in al-Huda Prison in Omdurman.

Facts about the case of Rev. Hassan Abduraheem

Reverend Abduraheem was arrested by the NISS at his home on 19 December 2015. The NISS held him until 9 May 2016, when he was moved to the Attorney General’s custody. Thereafter the prosecutor started building a case against him, which revolves around a mere act of kindness. Reverend Abduraheem donated money towards medical treatment for Ali Omer. Reverend Abduraheem also facilitated a meeting between Mr Jašek and Mr Omer, after which Mr Jašek donated $5,000 to Mr Omer’s treatment.

While detained by the NISS, Reverend Abduraheem was not allowed to see his family, people from his church, or legal representatives. His family was especially concerned for his health as he suffers from stomach ulcers and they couldn’t get his medication to him. He is currently being held in al-Huda Prison in Omdurman.

While Petr Jasek, who was found guilty of charges and sentenced to more than twenty years in prison, has been released on 27 February 2017, Reverend Abduraheem and Mr Abdumawla still remain in prison. They have launched appeals against their sentences, which have yet to be ruled on.

We at HRWF ask for your help to encourage Sudan to release Reverend Abduraheem and Mr. Abdumawla by writing letters to the following contacts. Please feel free to either write your own letter, or to use our model letter sampled below.

Address letters to:

Embassy of Sudan: sudanbx@yahoo.com

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

https://embassy-finder.com/sudan_in_brussels_belgium

 

Model letter

Subject: Release of Rev. Hassan ABDURAHEEM and Mr. Abdumonem ABDUMAWLA

Excellency,

Mr. Hassan Abduraheem, Reverend of the Sudan Church of Christ and Mr. Abdumonem Abdumawla, a Christian converted Darfuri student, were found guilty on 29 January 2017 of charges which included espionage and abatement, incitation of hatred between sects and propagation of false news. They are each sentenced to a total of twelve years imprisonment.

The two men were arrested alongside Petr Jasek in December 2015 for “aiding and abetting” him in his alleged spying, and held for eight months before charges were filed in August 2016.

Petr Jašek was sentenced to 23 ½ years in prison for various charges but was released from prison on 27 February after being pardoned and freed by President Omar Bashir.

However, Reverend Abduraheem and Mr Abdumawla still remain in prison. They have launched appeals against their sentences, which have yet to be ruled on.

I am hereby urging the authorities of your country to release them.

Respectfully yours.

Name:

Country:

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Other actions you can take:

– Share with others!

– Send to friends

– Post on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media

– Raise this issue during your religious and prayer meetings

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Also:

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List of hundreds of documented cases of believers of various faiths in 20 countries: http://hrwf.eu/forb/forb-and-blasphemy-prisoners-list/  




SUDAN: BREAKING NEWS: Czech aid worker Petr Jašek released from Sudanese prison

HRWF (27.02.2017) – Czech Christian aid worker, Petr Jašek, has been released from prison in Sudan after being pardoned and freed by President Omar Bashir. Jašek, 52, had been detained in Sudan since December 2015. The release apparently comes after the Czech Foreign Minister, Lubomir Zaoralek, visited Sudan this past weekend.

Petr Jašek was originally detained in December 2015 and in January 2017, was sentenced to 23 ½ years in prison for various charges including waging war against the state, violating restrictions in military areas, spreading rumors to defame the state, and inciting strife between communities.

Petr Jasek was arrested alongside two Sudanese church leaders, Hassan Taour and Abdulmonem Abdumawla, who were both sentenced to twelve years imprisonment after being found guilty of ‘aiding and abetting’ Jasek in his alleged spying. Taour and Abdumawla have launched appeals against their sentences, which have yet to be ruled on.

The charges against the three men revolve around their support (both vocal and financial) for a Sudanese student who was injured during a protest in 2013. As Christian Solidarity Worldwide explains, “The case further illustrates the politicization of the criminal justice system by the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS), which, under the pretext of investigating national security crimes, has brought charges against members of the political opposition, human rights defenders and leaders of minority religions”.

To learn more about Jasek, Taour, and Abdumawla’s cases, please visit our prisoner’s database.

Human Rights Without Frontiers would like to thank all of those who contributed to our campaign to release Petr Jašek.

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If you want to be regularly informed about different violations of human rights in the world, click here for a free subscription to our newsletters!

Also:

HRWF database of news and information on over 70 countries: http://hrwf.eu/newsletters/forb/ 
List of hundreds of documented cases of believers of various faiths in 20 countries: http://hrwf.eu/forb/forb-and-blasphemy-prisoners-list/  




SUDAN: Czech aid worker gets 20 years for ‘war against’ Sudan

World Watch Monitor (17.01.2017) – http://bit.ly/2jMnVCC – Czech aid worker Petr Jasek has been sentenced to 20 years in prison in Sudan after being found guilty of charges which included waging war against the state, violating restrictions in military areas, spreading rumours to defame the state, and inciting strife between communities.

He’s already been in prison for more than a year.

The verdict came today (29 Jan) in a trial in Khartoum which has also included Sudan Church of Christ leader Hassan Taour and Darfuri graduate Abdulmonem Abdumawla. They were also first detained in December 2015, alongside another Church of Christ pastor, Kuwa Shamal, who was released earlier this month.

Taour and Abdumawla have faced only the last two of the charges against Jasek (above).

WWM does not yet know the verdict in their two cases. Word of Jasek’s sentence came from the Czech Foreign Ministry.

Original article (published 23 January)

The court indictment specifically accused the two Sudanese men of “fabricating videos or incidents of claimed genocide, killing of civilians and burnings of villages, besides claims of persecutions of Christians in Sudan”.

Jasek was the first to be arrested, on 10 Dec., when authorities confiscated his computer, mobile phone and flash drives as he attempted to leave the country. Abdumawla, a single man employed in a mining exploration company in Khartoum, was arrested a week later. Then the next day, Taour and Shamal were arrested and held incommunicado for months, without charges or contact with their families.

All four were transferred to the Omdurman prison in early August 2016, then formally indicted before the Khartoum North Court on 21 Aug.

Court proceedings have at times been scheduled almost weekly, but postponed several times without warning when a witness, translator or the judge failed to appear.

In October, the European Parliament adopted an Urgency Resolution, calling for the “immediate and unconditional” release of the four men on trial “on charges of highlighting alleged Christian suffering in war-ravaged areas of Sudan”.

The trial hearings were observed periodically by Western diplomatic observers, with local supporters gathering outside the court at times to sing hymns and shout encouragements to the defendants.

One observer at a hearing in November declared, “The prosecutor has nothing new. It was just a repetition of what has already been said… They didn’t have any evidence to support their accusations.”

In December, courtroom interrogations focused on allegations that a meeting Taour and Shamal had attended with other Sudanese church leaders in Ethiopia a month before their arrest was organised with political motives to “damage and tarnish” Sudan’s international image.

While refusing to answer some questions posed by the defence lawyers, the NISS officer serving as the plaintiff in the case declared that “national security considerations” overrode several of Sudan’s criminal procedure laws that had been violated throughout the past year.

The appearance of a witness, Ali Omer, on 12 Dec. was hailed as of “significant benefit” to the four men.

The young Darfuri man testified that he had been injured with severe burns during anti-government demonstrations at an Omdurman university in mid-2015. When he was left with serious injuries requiring regular medical care, his Darfuri friend, Abdumawla, had collected funds for his treatment from various organisations and individuals, including Taour, to cover these medical costs. Jasek was carrying electronic information and photos about Omer’s situation when arrested. The defendants were accused of promoting Omer’s case abroad to defame the government.

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If you want to be regularly informed about different violations of human rights in the world, click here for a free subscription to our newsletters!

Also:

HRWF database of news and information on over 70 countries: http://hrwf.eu/newsletters/forb/
List of hundreds of documented cases of believers of various faiths in 20 countries: http://hrwf.eu/forb/forb-and-blasphemy-prisoners-list/




SUDAN: Sudan court verdict postponed for another week

World Watch Monitor (23.01.2017) – http://bit.ly/2jQvRox – The verdict in the trial of three men detained for over a year in Khartoum – due today – has been postponed for another week – until 29 January.

Sudan Church of Christ leader Hassan Taour, Darfuri graduate Abdulmonem Abdumawla and Czech aid worker Petr Jasek were first detained in December 2015, alongside another Church of Christ pastor, Kuwa Shamal, who was released earlier this month.

 

Jasek faces charges of waging war against the state, violating restrictions in military areas, spreading rumours to defame the state, espionage, and inciting strife between communities, while Taour and Abdumawla face only the last two of these charges.
The court indictment specifically accused them of “fabricating videos or incidents of claimed genocide, killing of civilians and burnings of villages, besides claims of persecutions of Christians in Sudan”.

Jasek was the first to be arrested, on 10 Dec., when authorities confiscated his computer, mobile phone and flash drives as he attempted to leave the country. Abdumawla, a single man employed in a mining exploration company in Khartoum, was arrested a week later. Then the next day, Taour and Shamal were arrested and held incommunicado for months, without charges or contact with their families.

All four were transferred to the Omdurman prison in early August 2016, then formally indicted before the Khartoum North Court on 21 Aug.
Court proceedings have at times been scheduled almost weekly, but postponed several times without warning when a witness, translator or the judge failed to appear.

In October, the European Parliament adopted an Urgency Resolution, calling for the “immediate and unconditional” release of the four men on trial “on charges of highlighting alleged Christian suffering in war-ravaged areas of Sudan”.

The trial hearings were observed periodically by Western diplomatic observers, with local supporters gathering outside the court at times to sing hymns and shout encouragements to the defendants.

One observer at a hearing in November declared, “The prosecutor has nothing new. It was just a repetition of what has already been said… They didn’t have any evidence to support their accusations.”

In December, courtroom interrogations focused on allegations that a meeting Taour and Shamal had attended with other Sudanese church leaders in Ethiopia a month before their arrest was organised with political motives to “damage and tarnish” Sudan’s international image.

While refusing to answer some questions posed by the defence lawyers, the NISS officer serving as the plaintiff in the case declared that “national security considerations” overrode several of Sudan’s criminal procedure laws that had been violated throughout the past year.

The appearance of a witness, Ali Omer, on 12 Dec. was hailed as of “significant benefit” to the four men.

The young Darfuri man testified that he had been injured with severe burns during anti-government demonstrations at an Omdurman university in mid-2015. When he was left with serious injuries requiring regular medical care, his Darfuri friend, Abdumawla, had collected funds for his treatment from various organisations and individuals, including Taour, to cover these medical costs. Jasek was carrying electronic information and photos about Omer’s situation when arrested. The defendants were accused of promoting Omer’s case abroad to defame the government.

Background

Sudan is ranked fifth on Open Doors’ 2017 World Watch List of the 50 countries in which it is most difficult to live as a Christian.

There has been no let-off by Sudan in its efforts to impose a unified Arab Islamic character over territories still under its government since the independence of the largely African Christian South in July 2011.

Both Taour and Shamal are from the Nuba people group, native to a border region with South Sudan, and among groups resisting ethnic and religious rule from Khartoum.

Sudan has previously used charges of “undermining national security” after prolonged detentions of Christians.

In May last year, the NISS released another Evangelical church leader after nearly half a year in detention. Despite his release, the file of Telahoon (Telal) Nogosi Rata, 36, remains with the Attorney General, who could yet decide to press charges.

A number of other Christian leaders face restrictions, including Ayub Tilyab, Yagoub Naway (both also SCC pastors), Philemon Hassan, and Yamani Abraha of Khartoum El Izba Baptist Church – all have been alternately arrested, released, and then made subject to daily NISS reporting.

In August 2015, Khartoum yielded to international pressure and released two South Sudanese pastors, whom it had accused of “spying”. Yat Michael and Peter Yen were in prison for eight and seven months, respectively.

Similarly, Mariam Ibrahim, a Sudanese Christian, was released in June 2014 after she was initially sentenced to death for apostasy and flogging for “adultery”.

On top of arrests, several church buildings have been confiscated or demolished, and the government has stated repeatedly that new church licenses will not be issued, leaving a number of congregations without a place of worship.

In October last year, five churches received notifications that their buildings would be demolished.

Earlier this month, a house belonging to the Bahri Evangelical Church, on the outskirts of Khartoum, was demolished by government officials.

The church has seen a number of its buildings damaged or demolished since 2013, when a committee imposed by the government (but not recognised by the church) sold part of its land to investors. In September 2015, a court ruled the committee was illegal.

Several of the church’s members and leaders have been arrested and fined in recent years for protesting against the sale of their property.

Click here to learn more about the HRWF campaign to release Petr Jasek 

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If you want to be regularly informed about different violations of human rights in the world, click here for a free subscription to our newsletters!

Also:

HRWF database of news and information on over 70 countries: http://hrwf.eu/newsletters/forb/ 
List of hundreds of documented cases of believers of various faiths in 20 countries: http://hrwf.eu/forb/forb-and-blasphemy-prisoners-list/