Displaying items by tag: Sudan
Yesterday Hassan Abduraheem and Abdulmonem Abdumawla received a presidential pardon and were set free! Along with Kuwa Shamal and Petr Jasek, they were arrested in December 2015 and charged with espionage, inciting strife between communities, and other offences. In January they were each sentenced to ten years' imprisonment for espionage, and one year's imprisonment for inciting strife between communities and spreading rumours undermining the authority of the state. Since then they have been serving their sentences in prison while their lawyers appealed against the verdict. Kuwa was acquitted on 2 January, and Petr was pardoned on 26 February. While rejoicing at their release, pray also that it will signal a change of heart in the government’s attitude towards Christians generally.
Czechoslovakian aid worker Petr Jašek, who had been sentenced to 24 years in a Sudanese prison, was released when 400,000+ people signed a petition for his release. However, pastor Hassan Abduelraheem Kodi and student Abdulmonem Abdumawla are still serving their twelve years behind bars. Christian Solidarity Worldwide said Jašek's release was good news, but the others are Sudanese nationals and are not represented in the same way.
(Updating last week’s Prayer Alert article) On Sunday Judge Osama Ahmed Abdulla found Czech national Petr Jašek guilty of espionage. He was sentenced to life imprisonment plus a further three and a half years and a fine of 100,000 Sudanese pounds (approx. £12,000). Rev’d Abduraheem and Mr Abdumawla were sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment for espionage and a further two years for inciting hatred between sects and for propagation of false news. Lawyers representing the men intend to appeal the verdict and sentences. Joel Edwards of Christian Solidarity Worldwide said, ‘We are profoundly dismayed by this verdict. The serious charges against these men were wholly unwarranted and the excessive sentences unjustified, given the paucity of evidence against them. These men are not spies; they were simply driven by compassion to source finance for the treatment of a man with severe injuries. We call for the annulment of the verdict and the immediate release of these three men.’
On January 29, the court sentenced Petr Jasek to life in prison for espionage, to six months in prison for spreading rumours that undermine the authority of the state, to a fine of 100,000 Sudanese Pounds (approx. USD 16,000) for undertaking NGO work without a permit, and to one year in prison each (to be served consecutively) for inciting strife between communities, for entry in and photography of military areas and equipment, and illegal entry into Sudan.
Rev. Hassan Abduraheem Kodi Taour and Mr. Abdulmonem Abdumawla were each sentenced to ten years for abetting Jasek in the crime of espionage, and one year each for inciting strife between communities and spreading rumours that undermine the authority of the state (even though the legal maximum penalty for this last crime is six months in prison). All of these sentences are to be served consecutively.
The lawyers have indicated they will appeal the sentences within 15 days.
Separately, in a court case against the threatened demolition of four Christian churches, a court ruled that the authorities must supply the lawyer for the churches with an official order for the demolition of the churches. To the lawyer's dismay, the official decision does not just involve the four churches he was representing, but also applies to another 21 places of worship (most of them churches) that are scheduled for demolition.
Christians in Sudan request prayer:
- that the three convicted Christians will know the Lord's strength and comfort during their ordeal
- for wisdom for the lawyers defending them
- for a fair appeal process, and that the three men will be acquitted soon
- for an end to the increasing pressure against churches and other religious minorities in Sudan, and that Christians will know the peace of the Lord
- that all officials involved will love mercy, act justly, learn about Jesus and choose to follow Him
Middle East Concern
URL for this prayer request: http://meconcern.org/2017/01/29/sudan-update-on-imprisoned-christians-8/
Rev’d Kuwa Shamal, Rev’d Hassan Abduraheem, Mr Petr Jašek, and Mr Abdulmonem Abdumawla were arrested in December 2015 and held in prison on charges of national security crimes. They were charged with helping fund medical treatment for a student injured in a demonstration. The trial, which started in August 2016, has been subject to several delays and postponements. Rev’d Shamal was acquitted on 2 January 2017, and released due to lack of evidence. Christian Solidarity Worldwide said: ‘We continue to press for the immediate release of these three men and are deeply concerned at the unnecessary delays. They have committed no crimes and have been held unjustly for over a year, simply for an act of kindness.’