Update (1) On COURT TRIAL OF NISS/SUDAN AGAINST PASTORS AND ACTIVIST
On 21st August 2016, the court hearing was before Justice Dr. Osama Mohamed Abdalla. The court session was conducted under very tight security whereby the activist and supporters were prevented from attending. The investigator/prosecutor read the details of the charges preferred against the defendants/accused. At the end of the session, the judge announced 29th August 2016 the coming court session for cross-examination of the investigator by the complaint.
Background of the case
On 18th August 2016, National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) arrested a group of Christian leaders and pastors who were released on different dates except the defendants. They were arrested because of attending the Sudanese and South Sudanese Christian conference that was held in Addis Ababa/ Ethiopia between 17th – 23rd October 2015. On 18th May 2018, NISS opened a case (No. 41/2016) and transferred the detainees to State Security Prosecution (SSP) office. The accused remained at SSP custody up to 4th August 2016 when the case was referred to the court. Thereafter, they were transferred to Omdurman prison and days later to Alhuda prison at Omdurman town. The court hearing was scheduled for 14th August 2016 but it was later postponed because the defendants were not brought from the prison to the court. The 21st August 2016 court hearing was the first session in this trial.
Summary of the court session
The judge (Dr. Osama Mohamed Abdalla) started the session at Khartoum Centre Court; in attendance was the investigating Counsel (Abdurrahman Ahmed Abdurrahman), complainant, the defendants and their lawyers’ committee which consists of twenty five (25) volunteer lawyers.
The Accused/Defendants in their order;
- Peter Justin (non-Sudanese).
- Pastor, Hassan Abduelraheem Kodi.
- Pastor, Kuwa Shamal Abu Zumam
- Activist, Abduelmoneim Abdalmwlla
The counsel/Abdurrahman read the list of charges under the following articles;
- Articles: 21, 50, 51, 53, 57, 64 and 66 of Sudan Criminal Penal 1991.
- Article: 30/1 of Nationality Act.
- Article 23 of regulation of humanitarian and voluntary work.
According to the investigator, the above articles were interpreted as follows;
- The four defendants carried out intelligence activities against Sudan and gave fiscal support to Sudan People Liberation Army – North (SPLA-N) in South Kordufan.
- They are preparing allegations about genocide, extrajudicial killings, civilian displacement and burning villages by Sudan government.
- They are preparing allegations about demolition of churches, oppressing Christians and torture by Sudan government.
- The first defendant arrived in Sudan purposely to take photos of the demolished churches.
The defendants denied all the charges and then after the judge adjourned the court to 29th August 2016.
- The representatives of AU and USA embassy attended the session.
- The police at the court only allowed defendants’ close relatives to attend.
- The activists and defendants’ supporters were not allowed in the court yard.
Ensure that the international standard of justice is followed;
- HUDO urges the Sudan court to allow the public to attend.
- HUDO urges the EU, USA and other embassies to continue attending.
- HUDO urges the activists and defendants’ supporters to keep on of trying attend the trial.
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