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Sudan: Demonstrators demand release of leaders of Al-Turabi’s party

Hassan Al-Turabi
Hassan Al-Turabi

Dozens of supporters of the Popular Congress Party (PCP) in Sudan participated, on Tuesday, in a protest in front of the Public Prosecution headquarters in the capital, Khartoum, to demand the release of leaders of the party detained in connection with the 1989 coup plot.

Supporters of the PCP, founded by the late Hassan Al-Turabi, raised banners that read, “Where is the rule of law” and “Where are the freedoms?”

Protesters also chanted slogans such as “No to politicised justice,” “Try them or release them,” “Freedom  … Peace  … and Justice”, “Freedom for us and others,” reported the Anadolu Agency’s correspondent.

On 20 November 2019, the Public Prosecution Office in Sudan issued an arrest warrant against the Secretary-General of the PCP, Ali Al-Hajj, within the framework of the 1989 coup plot, which brought the ousted President Omar Al-Bashir to power.

On 12 December 2019, head of the PCP’s Shura council, Ibrahim Al-Senussi, was also arrested, followed by party leader Omar Abdel-Marouf, on 2 February, on the same charges.

Read: Missing Syrian activist arrested in Damascus

Member of the defence committee on behalf of the PCP leadership, Baroud Sandal, told the Anadolu Agency’s correspondent, on the sidelines of the protest, that “the committee (responsible for the investigations) is not independent, and includes members of the Public Prosecution and lawyers with clear political affiliations. Even the regular requests that we submitted to them regarding the detainees’ right to receive medical care were disregarded.”

Sandal added: “We have reached a conviction that the trial and the current procedures are purely politicized, as the public prosecution has not undertaken any of the conventional legal means, since the start of the legal action against the defendants.”

Lawyers filed a legal petition in Khartoum last May with the Attorney General, against Al-Bashir and his aides, on charges of “undermining the constitutional system by plotting a military coup in 1989”.

On 30 June 1989, Al-Bashir carried out a military coup against the government of Prime Minister Sadiq Al-Mahdi, assuming the position of chairman of the leadership council of what was known as the Revolutionary Command Council for National Salvation. During the same year, he became president.

On 11 April, popular protests denouncing the worsening economic situation forced the army’s leadership to sack Al-Bashir.

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