TWO Sudanese men, who were serving 12-year sentences for espionage, received a presidential pardon, and were released, last week.
The Revd Hassan Abduraheem, and an activist, Abdulmonem Abdumawla, were convicted in January of “inciting hatred between sects”, and “propagating false news”. The two men were detained in December 2015, after raising money to help pay the medical costs of a young Darfuri man who was injured during a demonstration at the Al-Quran el Karim University, in Omdurman (News, 26 August, 2016).
Lawyers representing them had filed an appeal against their conviction, but the presidential pardon suspends all further proceedings in the case, and means that they have been freed unconditionally, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) reported.
The chief executive of CSW, Mervyn Thomas, welcomed the news, but said that the case highlighted “our profound concerns regarding the rule of law in Sudan, and the politicisation of the criminal justice system by the National Intelligence and Security Services, which pursued the case against them.
“We continue to call for the government to review and reform the powers of this body, and to end the targeting of religious and ethnic minorities on spurious grounds.”
He also highlighted the destruction of the last remaining church in a district in the south-east of Khartoum.