15 Sudanese Parties Ask for Turabi’s Release
Fifteen Sudanese political parties called on President Omar Bashir on Tuesday to release opposition Popular National Congress (PNC) leader Hassan Turabi who is being held in a Khartoum prison, reported the Kuwait News agency (KUNA), quoting a statement as saying.
The parties called for “respecting the constitution and lifting the ban on the PNC,” said the statement.
The government’s restriction on the NPC is a kind of "dictatorship, political oppression and persecution," added the statement.
Turabi, a former ally of Bashir, and scores of PNC officials were jailed February 21 after concluding a deal with the SPLA, calling for joint peaceful resistance to the government.
The SPLA has been fighting a civil war with successive Khartoum governments since 1983.
Within the same context, AFP reported that UN human rights rapporteur Gerhart Baum was denied a visit to Turabi on Monday.
PNC deputy secretary general Abdallah Hassan Ahmed told AFP that Baum informed him that he went to the prison on Monday to visit Turabi and other PNC detainees but was denied the visit by the prison authorities.
Ahmed quoted Baum as saying there must be "other reasons" for preventing him from seeing the PNC detainees, a matter which, Ahmed said, "has prompted anxiety to us and to the families of the detainees."
He said Baum told him, however, that he was allowed to see eight political detainees of the opposition National Democratic Alliance (NDA) who will stand trial next week.
The PNC deputy secretary general said lawyers who are to defend Turabi and four of his aides, also in custody, were given permission to see the defendants but when they arrived at the prison, security officials insisted on being present at the meeting, AFP added.
The lawyers protested this move, arguing that a lawyer has the right to see his defendant alone, but on insistence by the security officials, they decided to consider their meeting with the detainees a visit for greeting and courtesy, said Ahmed – Albawaba.com