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Sudan authorities release 25 political prisoners

A Sudanese security and intelligence services agent sits in a defendants' cage at a court in Omdurman, the capital Khartoums twin city, on August 28, 2019 [AHMED MUSTAFA/AFP via Getty Images]
A Sudanese security and intelligence services agent sits in a defendants' cage at a court in Omdurman, the capital Khartoums twin city, on August 28, 2019 [AHMED MUSTAFA/AFP via Getty Images]

The Sudanese authorities on Friday released 25 political detainees from a prison in the capital, Khartoum, as part of a measure to create a climate for dialogue between Sudanese parties.

This came according to a statement by Sudanese legal initiative, Emergency Lawyers. The initiative was formed following the exceptional measures taken by army chief Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan on 25 October, most notably the imposition of a state of emergency and the dissolution of the Sovereignty Council and the Council of Ministers.

The statement disclosed: "The Soba prison authorities released today at noon 25 detained revolutionaries. This comes while 27 detainees remain imprisoned in the same prison, in addition to the detainees of the Dismantling Committee and other detainees inside the prisons of Port Sudan, Dabek and Al Jazeera Aba."

On 15 April, Al-Burhan announced that political detainees would be released "within two or three days" to create a climate for dialogue in the country.

Burhan expressed: "We will do everything possible so that they are set free. We ask everyone for more solidarity, unity and work until all detainees are released."

READ: Sudan authorities called upon to end political crisis

On 20 February, the Forces of Freedom and Change, the former ruling coalition in Sudan, called for a: "Comprehensive national campaign to release all detainees in prisons, whose numbers have reached over 200 people."

Opposition forces and human rights organisations accuse the Sudanese authorities of arresting political leaders and dozens of activists in the "resistance committees", which organise ongoing protests calling for "full democratic civilian rule". However, the authorities usually say: "The arrests of some people are carried out by the judicial authorities that are completely independent."

The release of detainees is one of the most prominent conditions set by the Forces of Freedom and Change in Sudan, announced on 14 April. It stressed that it would not proceed with any political process without releasing them, cancelling the state of emergency and stopping the repression of demonstrators.

Since 25 October, 2021, Sudan has witnessed protests rejecting the exceptional measures taken by Al-Burhan.

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