European Parliament demands release of Sakharov Laureate Osman

The European Parliament adopted on 15 March a resolution condemning the arrest of human rights defenders, notably the arrest of Sakharov Prize Laureate Salih Mahmoud Osman, in Sudan. In its resolution, the Parliament called for an immediate and unconditional release of Mr Osman, as well as all other human rights defenders as well as civil society and opposition activists who are currently being held.

“The situation in Sudan has continued to deteriorate due to the authorities’ crackdown on human rights defenders and civil society, in particular after the protests over the rise in the cost of food and medicines which began on 7 January 2018,” Vice-President Hautala noted.

Reportedly 140 people were initially detained, including members of the opposition, by the Sudanese National Intelligence and Security Services. Among those arrested were Mohamed Mukhtar al Khatib, the political secretary of the Sudanese Communist Party; Mohamed Abdalla Aldoma, the deputy chairperson of the National Umma Party; Mohamed Farouk Salman, a leading member of Sudan National Alliance – Forces; and two members of the Sudanese Communist Party central committee Mohieldeen Eljalad and Sidgi Kaballo. Together with Mr Aldoma, some 80 detainees were released in mid-February.

It has been reported that at least some of those released were ill-treated in detention.  “It is imperative that all the people who are detained are treated humanely and those who have been detained due to their political activities are immediately released,” Vice-President added.