Two men in Sudan – Rev Hassan Abduraheem, a church leader, and Mr Abdumonem Abdumawla, an activist – have been given lengthy prison sentences, all because of an act of kindness, reports Christian Solidarity Worldwide.
Their only crime was helping to raise money to treat a badly burned young man who had taken part in a student protest. For this they were sentenced to twelve years’ imprisonment. Their families wept openly in court as the verdict was delivered.
CSW is campaigning to SET THEM FREE, urging people to email their MP to ask them to raise the case with Tobias Ellwood MP, Minister for the Middle East and Africa. They also suggest emailing MEPs to build as much international concern about the unjust sentences as possible, and tweeting @ Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs. Their final action is to email the Sudanese Embassy.
Human Rights Without Frontiers has also called for the Sudanese government to release Reverend Hassan Abduraheem and Mr. Abdumonem Abdumawla.
They explain that on 29 January 2017 Rev. Abduraheem and Mr. Abdumawla were found guilty of espionage and abatement, inciting hatred between religious groups, and propagation of false news. Both men were arrested in December 2015 for “aiding and abetting” the recently released Petr Jasek in his alleged spying and were held for eight months before charges were filed in August 2016.
Mr Abdumawla was arrested by the NISS in December 2015 after he began collecting money to help his friend, Ali Omer, a young Darfuri student, who had been injured and seriously burned during a demonstration in July 2013. Mr Abdumawla was put in contact with Reverend Abduraheem and Mr Jašek, who then donated money towards Mr Omer’s treatment.
Mr Abdumawla was held by the NISS between December 2015 and May 2016 and was not allowed to meet or communicate with his family during this time. He was moved to the Attorney General’s custody in May 2016 when the prosecutor started his criminal investigation. Mr Abdumawla is currently being held in al-Huda Prison in Omdurman.
Reverend Abduraheem was arrested by the NISS at his home on 19 December 2015. The NISS held him until 9 May 2016, when he was moved to the Attorney General’s custody. Thereafter the prosecutor started building a case against him, which revolves around a mere act of kindness. Reverend Abduraheem donated money towards medical treatment for Ali Omer. Reverend Abduraheem also facilitated a meeting between Mr Jašek and Mr Omer, after which Mr Jašek donated $5,000 to Mr Omer’s treatment.
While detained by the NISS, Reverend Abduraheem was not allowed to see his family, people from his church, or legal representatives. His family was especially concerned for his health as he suffers from stomach ulcers and they couldn’t get his medication to him. He is currently being held in al-Huda Prison in Omdurman.
While Petr Jasek, who was found guilty of charges and sentenced to more than twenty years in prison, was released on 27 February 2017, Reverend Abduraheem and Mr Abdumawla still remain in prison. They have launched appeals against their sentences, which have yet to be ruled on.
HRWF ask people to urge their release, either by writing their own letter, or using this model letter:
Address letters to H.E. Ambassador Mohamed Abdallah Ali Eltom, Embassy of Sudan, 3 Cleveland Row, St. James’s, London SW1A 1DD – firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Release of Rev. Hassan ABDURAHEEM and Mr. Abdumonem ABDUMAWLA
Mr. Hassan Abduraheem, Reverend of the Sudan Church of Christ and Mr. Abdumonem Abdumawla, a Darfuri student, were found guilty on 29 January 2017 of charges which included espionage and abatement, incitation of hatred between sects and propagation of false news. They are each sentenced to a total of twelve years imprisonment.
The two men were arrested alongside Petr Jasek in December 2015 for “aiding and abetting” him in his alleged spying, and held for eight months before charges were filed in August 2016.
Petr Jašek was sentenced to 23½ years in prison for various charges but was released from prison on 27 February after being pardoned and freed by President Omar Bashir.
However, Reverend Abduraheem and Mr Abdumawla still remain in prison. They have launched appeals against their sentences, which have yet to be ruled on.
I am hereby urging the authorities of your country to release them.