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Sudan: Fear of torture / possible prisoner of conscience: Sadiq al-Mahdi

, Index number: AFR 54/015/1995

Sadiq al-Mahdi, leader of the Ansar order of traditional Sudanese Islam, leader of the banned opposition Umma party and former Prime Minister, was arrested in Khartoum on 16 May 1995. There is concern that he may be at risk of torture or ill-treatment and that he may be a prisoner of conscience. The authorities are reported to have announced that he is being interrogated for "involvement in subversive activities". Independent sources have said that the arrest appears to be a reaction to an outspoken speech he made criticizing Sudan's current rulers on the occasion of the Muslim feast of 'Eid al-Addha in early May. There are unconfirmed reports that up to seven other members of the Umma Party have also been detained.

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