Sudan security turns down requests family El Mahdi; Arab coalition condemns detention

Officers of the National Security and Intelligence Service (NISS) have refused to receive a letter from the family of Dr Maryam El Sadig El Mahdi, deputy head of the National Umma Party (NUP), on Saturday.

In the letter, the family expresses their concern about the fate of Dr Maryam El Mahdi, as well as the fate of all other political detainees, apprehended by the NISS in Sudan. The family in the letter officially inquires about the exact location where Dr El Mahdi is held, and the charges against her.

Dr El Mahdi’s sister, Rabah El Sadig El Mahdi told Radio Dabanga from Omdurman that the security officers refuse to receive the letter, because of the header, which read “Demand to end the unjust and revengeful detention of Dr Mariam El Sadig El Mahdi”. “They put the removal of the header as a condition for receiving the letter, which we, the family, refused in turn.”

“The family has filled in the required forms, but we have not received any response at all from the security authorities. They refused to meet family members, and our requests to visit our sister.  Most probably she is held in the special security quarters of the Women’s Prison in Omdurman.”

Rabah El Mahdi added that the government has instructed the Sudanese newspapers not to publish any news about Dr Maryam El Mahdi.

Arab Coalition for Sudan

The Arab Coalition for Sudan (ACS) has condemned the arrest of Dr Maryam El Mahdi, saying that “the government utilised the signing of the Paris Declaration” between the NUP and the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF, an alliance of main rebel movements) to apprehend her last Monday evening.

The arrest of Dr El Mahdi, the ACS stated in a press release issued on Thursday, is a “violation of human rights covenants, and Sudan’s Constitution”. “It is an unjustified action that disregards any evidence.”  The ACS wonders why Dr El Mahdi was detained, while government officials have met more than once before with members of the SRF.

The ACS called on the authorities to release her promptly. The Coalition also called for “the release of all other political detainees, languishing in prisons without having committed any offense”.

File photo: Dr Maryam El Sadig El Mahdi in Paris, 7 August 2014 (Radio Dabanga)

Related: Sudan rebels, UN demand release of Dr El Sadig (15 August 2014)