Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Sudan’s Prosecution Refuses to Release Bashir and his Aides

Sudan’s Prosecution Refuses to Release Bashir and his Aides

Monday, 30 March, 2020 - 08:15
Sudan's former president Omar al-Bashir sits guarded inside a cage at the courthouse where he is facing corruption charges, in Khartoum, Sudan August 19, 2019. (Reuters)

Sudan’s general prosecution said the decision to release of prisoners amid the coronavirus outbreak does not include former president Omar al-Bashir and his aides.

It informed their families that they will not be released because they are facing charges without the possibility of bail.

The general prosecutor met with the representatives of the former regime and listened to their demands for their release or putting them under house arrest.

The country's top prosecutor, Taj al-Ser al-Hebr said the release order applies to convicts, not members of the former regime, who are facing charges without bail.

Following Bashir’s ouster in a revolution in April 2019, a number of regime figures have been detained in Kober Prison in Khartoum, including Bashir, former First Vice President Ali Osman Mohamed Taha, Assistant Nafi Ali Nafi, former Vice President Bakri Hassan Saleh, former head of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) Ahmed Haroun, and Deputy Secretary-General of the Popular Congress Party Ali Al Haj Mohammed.

Some are being held over their 1989 coup that brought Bashir to power, in addition to other charges related to human rights violations and corruption.

Meanwhile, a major prison witnessed rioting that left one prisoner dead and the intervention of police to restore order. The violence was blamed on the decision to release prisoners as a precaution over the coronavirus, prompting outrage among inmates not included in the order.

A government statement said prisoners had rioted in the prison, forcing the police to intervene and use tear gas and “necessary force” to contain such situations. Order was restored and no prisoners managed to escape.

Sudan released 4,217 prisoners on Wednesday as a precaution against the spread of coronavirus, state news agency SUNA said, citing a health ministry official who said those freed had been tested for possible infections.

Editor Picks