‘Sudan detains Dr El Mahdi without legal basis’: lawyer

By IAfrica
In Sudan
Sep 2nd, 2014
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KHARTOUM

The arrest of the Co-Vice President of the National Umma Party since 12 August is “a political one”, and has “no constitutional or legal basis”, the lawyer of Dr Maryam El Sadig El Mahdi stressed. Meanwhile, Sudan’s Minister of Information said that measures will be announced soon, which “create a conducive environment for the National Dialogue”, including the possible release of political detainees.

The ruling National Congress Party seeks “to undermine the (legal, ed.) system with a political blackmail, which has nothing to do with the law or the Constitution of Sudan”, lawyer Ali Galyoub stated to Radio Dabanga fom Khartoum.

He added that according to the Constitution and the law, there are no charges against Dr El Mahdi and her father, also head of the National Umma Part (NUP), regarding the Paris Declaration. The Umma Party signed this agreement with the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF, a coalition of Sudan’s main rebel movements) on 8 August, calling for a comprehensive solution for the crises in the country. “There are no charges that prejudice the security, undermine the Constitution, or put them into criminal liability according to the Sudanese Criminal Code,” Galyoub said.

He added that people have the right by law to express their views and communicate with all parties that seek to resolve the issues of Sudan peacefully. “What the President of the Umma Party did, is an achievement and a free service to the government in the first place, and to Sudan in the second,” he explained. “The signing of the Paris Declaration means to spare the bloodshed between the bearers of arms in Sudan.”

Dr Maryam El Sadig El Mahdi, the Co-Deputy President of the National Umma Party (NUP), was held by NISS officers on 12 August at Khartoum Airport. She arrived from France, where the NUP had signed the Paris Declaration with the rebel SRF.

‘Detained for criminal reasons’: NCP

Mohamed El Hassan El Amin, a senior leader of the NCP, said that trying Dr El Mahdi “is normal” as she instigated movements and armed groups against the state, in Khartoum on Sunday. He vowed that a trial will include the President of the Umma Party, El Sadig El Mahdi, who has not returned to Sudan after signing the agreement with the SRF in Paris.

Ahmed Bilal Osman, the Minister of Information, explained that the arrest of the Umma Party’s Co-Vice President was not for political, “but criminal reasons”. He confirmed that she is subject to trial related to acting against the state, and seeking to undermine the ruling regime in Khartoum.

Speaking after a meeting of the National Dialogue committee, known as the ’7+7′, Osman told reporters of Sudan Tribune this week that a number of measures will be announced soon, in order to create a conducive environment for the dialogue process. He announced the possible release of political detainees.

He denied the existence of political prisoners in Sudan. Regarding Maryam El Mahdi, the Minister stressed that she has been arrested under criminal charges. However, the Ministry “is now working on measures to create a suitable climate”.

File photo: The security services detained 16 activists of the “No to women’s oppression” group, who staged a protest in front of Omdurman women prison against the detention of Maryam El Mahdi, amongst others, on Thursday. (Radio Dabanga correspondent)

Related:

Sudan women politicians call for detainees’s release (1 September 2014)

EU, Norway call for Maryam El Mahdi’s release (13 August 2014)

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