October 10th, 2016
HART’s letter to end Human Rights Violations against Pastors in Sudan
Dear Supporters of HART,
Re – Plea for release
We bring grave news of four men in Sudan who have been detained. There are seven charges, two of which carry the death penalty. The men involved are: Rev. Hassan Abduraheem Kodi Taour, Rev. Kuwa Shamal Abazmam Kurri, Mr. Abdulmonem Abdumawla Issa Abdumawla and a Czech national Petr Jasek.
On 17th December 2015 Mr Abdumawla and Mr Omer from Darfur were detained because they are converts from Islam to Christianity. Mr Omer had been attacked because of his conversion and suffered severe burn wounds. The NISS became aware of a recording that Mr Omer had done with Mr Jasek with Mr Abdumawla translating. Mr Omer has since been released.
On the 18th December 2015, NISS officers arrested two pastors from the Sudan Church of Christ – Rev Kurri and Rev Taour. They had both attended a meeting abroad where they saw a picture of Mr Omer after he was attacked. When Mr Jasek visited Sudan, Rev Teour signed a receipt for the medical treatment of Mr Omer. The 4 men’s cases were handed to the prosecutor’s office on 9th May 2016.
Mr. Jašek is being charged with:
- Waging War against the State (section 51 Sudan Penal Code 1991)
- Espionage (section 53 Sudan Penal Code 1991)
- Entry and Photograph of Military Areas and Equipment (section 57 Sudan Penal Code 1991)
- Calling for opposition of the Public Authority by Violence or Criminal Force (section 63 Sudan Penal Code 1991)
- Agitating hatred between classes (section 64 Sudan Penal Code 1991)
- Working for an NGO without the proper registration (Article 23 Sudan Voluntary Work Act)
- Alleged illegal crossing from Southern Sudan into Northern Sudan (Article 30 The Passports and Immigration Act 1994)
- Spreading rumours that cause fear or undermine the respect of the State (Article 66 of the Sudan Penal Code 1991)
The other men are charged as co-offenders in charges 1-7 under Article 21 of the Sudan Penal Code 1991. Charges 1 & 2 are punishable by the death penalty or a life sentence. The remaining charges are a punishment of 1-10 years imprisonment and/or a fine.
14th August – first hearing scheduled, defendants not brought to court
21st August – opening statement by prosecution
29th August – defendants questioned the investigator court adjourned because of a power cut
1st September – hearing continued
5th September – hearing continued
21st September – interpreter failed to show
26th September – hearing continued, adjourned due to translating problems
17th October – next hearing date
What you can do
International pressure has led to court verdicts that are either acquittals or shorter sentences. We encourage you to send a copy of the letter attached below to your local MP to help these men who are being detained. If you don’t know who your local MP is, then search on http://www.parliament.uk/get-involved/contact-your-mp/. By pressuring your MP, this issue can be raised in parliament and the international scrutiny has the potential to help these men be acquitted of the crimes they have allegedly committed. This is especially important considering these men could face the death penalty.
The HART Team
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