Presidential pardon given to Sudanese pastor and activist

By Eno Adeogun

A presidential pardon has been handed to a Sudanese pastor and activist who were facing up to ten years imprisonment for espionage and inciting strife between communities.

Rev Hassan Abduraheem Kodi Taour and Abdulmonem Abdumawla were arrested in December 2015 with Rev Kuwa Shamal Abazmam Kurri and Czech national Petr Jasek. They all faced similar charges for a range of offences.

All four arrests sparked criticism from all around the world with Christian campaign groups branding the accusations levelled against the men as “spurious” and therefore demanded that they all be released.

A Christian Solidarity Worldwide Sudan officer, who can’t be named for security reasons, told Premier how Taour reacted to the news: “He conveyed his thanks to everyone who has been praying and working on his case and on his behalf.

“He informed us that he is now at home with his children and his family – many of whom are in absolute shock and are crying and really can’t believe that he has been freed.”

She said the charity hadn’t been able to speak with Darfuri Abdumawla but had been informed that of his release and told he was with family.

It is not clear what prompted the pardons that are given in the country on a discretionary basis.

Clockwise from top-left: Rev Hassan Abduraheem Kodi Taour, Petr Jasek, Rev Kuwa Shamal Abazmam Kurri and Abdumonem Abdumawla

Rev Kuwa Shamal Abazmam Kurri who faced the death penalty or life imprisonment was acquitted of all charges in January, while Christian aid worker Jasek from the Czech Republic received a presidential pardon and left Sudan in February.

While Christian Solidarity Worldwide welcomes the release of Taour, they believe Christians need to keep Sudan in their prayers.

The charity’s Sudan officer said: “We’ve seen that Christians are coming under particular pressure as well as ethnic minorities.

“We’re seeing this combined ethnic-religious repression continuing in Sudan. We ask people to be praying for that as we continue to work and raise these issues.”

Source: Premier