U.S. Aid Worker Faces Death Penalty in Khartoum

By IndepthAfrica
In East Africa
Jul 31st, 2012
0 Comments
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The trial for Rudwan Dawod, an American resident, NGO aid worker, humanitarian and pro-democracy activist, who worked closely with former NBA Legend Manute Bol, continues Sunday, July 29 in Khartoum. If convicted, Dawod could be sentenced to death.

Former NBA star Manute Bol
with Rudwan Dawod & other
aid workers for the U.S. NGO
Sudan Sunrise
(Courtesy: Sudan Sunrise)

Dawod, a Darfurian, has worked for three years as a volunteer project coordinator with Bol’s charity, the Washington based NGO Sudan Sunrise. Dawod worked extensively with Bol on his school in Bol’s hometown of Turalei, and in 2011 Dawod led a team of fellow Muslim peace activists who delivered relief food to refugees in Turalei. Dawod left his expectant American wife in Oregon in May for South Sudan to lead a Sudan Sunrise initiative of Muslims helping to rebuild a Catholic Cathedral in Torit, South Sudan, as a symbol of reconciliation in the face of recent church burnings in Khartoum.

During a lull in the planning phase, Dawod traveled to Khartoum to see his family, renew his visa, and join in non-violent protests with the Arab Spring youth movement Girifna (“We are fed up” in Arabic). After ten days in Khartoum he was abducted, beaten, tortured for days, and charged with terrorism. The media in Sudan has accused Dawod and his wife of working for the CIA and organizing a terrorist cell with plans to bomb Khartoum marketplaces. Girifna activists see this as a campaign to discredit the protest movement that could cost Dawod his life.

While incarcerated, Dawod was severely beaten by government agents for opposing the burning of churches, and was tortured in an attempt to coerce a confession of working for the CIA.

The Government of Sudan led by Omar Al-Bashir, who has been indicted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes in Darfur, has responded to demonstrations in the past six weeks by jailing hundreds of protestors (estimates range from 500 to 2,000 protestors currently held by the government).

Available for interviews:

With Wife Nancy Dawod

Girifna members who can report on the Rudwan’s trial, the movement and some give first hand accounts of abduction and torture.

Tom Prichard, Director of Sudan Sunrise, who work on closely with Dawod on his reconciliation and humanitarian efforts

Nancy Dawod, who met husband three years ago when they both volunteered with Sudan Sunrise to help Manute Bol’s school effort. They are expecting their first child in September, a daughter who they have named “Sudan.”

Maria Sliwa, Freedom Now Communications, Inc. maria@msliwa.com,973-272-2861

Kody Kness, Deputy Executive Director of Sudan Sunrise kodykness@sudansunrise.org(202) 531-5046

Websites:

http://SudanSunrise.org

http://www.girifna.com

http://www.sudansunrise.org/project/building-reconciliation-torit

www.FreeRudwan.org

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