Sudan: Released Political leaders entitled to restitution

Sudan must end arbitrary detentions and ensure restitution for the three opposition political party leaders released yesterday, Amnesty International urged, with less than a week to go until the country’s elections.

Farouk Abu Iss, Dr. Amin Maki Madani and Farah Al-Aggar were freed today after being arbitrarily detained for more than four months because of their political opposition to the government.

“These three men had been arbitrarily detained solely for the peaceful exercise of their right to freedom of expression. We had demanded their immediate and unconditional release.  It has taken 124 days for the Minister of Justice to dismiss their case, which was clearly politically motivated,” said Muthoni Wanyeki, Amnesty International’s Regional director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes. “The government of Sudan should offer restitution to the three for their arbitrary detention. It should also prevent any further arbitrary or unlawful detentions, particularly in the context of the upcoming elections.”

On 6 December 2014, the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) arrested Farouk Abu Issa, the leader of the political opposition alliance, the National Consensus Forces (NCF), Dr. Amin Maki Madani, the head of the alliance of Sudanese civil society, and Farah Al-Aggar, former senior member of the National Congress Party (NCP) in Blue Nile State.

“The fact the three opposition leaders were arbitrarily  arrested and detained, yet have now been freed only as a result of the Minister of Justice’s intervention, highlights the lack of credibility and independence of the Sudan’s justice system,” said Muthoni Wanyeki.