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Sudan announces criminal charges against detained opposition politicians

[JURIST] The government of Sudan [JURIST news archive] Sunday announced it had laid criminal charges against 25 opposition politicians. The announcement came one month after the country's Court of Appeal rejected a request [JURIST report] for the release of the members of the opposition Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and the Umma Party for Reform and Renewal. The charges include illegal possession of firearms, organizing terrorist groups, abetting mutiny, holding illegal military training and calling for opposition to public authority using criminal force. Sudan's Criminal Procedure Act of 1983 allows for the detention of suspects under investigation for up to two weeks before they must be released or charged. The suspects, all taken at gunpoint from their homes, were in custody for almost four months after a flurry of arrests [Reuters report] before being charged.

The 25 detainees, including Umma Party for Reform and Renewal leader Mubarak al-Fadil, his secretary-general Abdel Jalil al-Basha, DUP deputy secretary-general Ali Mahmoud Hassanein and retired police, security and army officers, plan to take their case to the country's Supreme Court. Amnesty International, citing medical reports, continues to accuse the government of torturing and mistreating the detainees [AI report]. Reuters has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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