Khartoum (Agenzia Fides) - The African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS) calls upon the Sudanese government to urgently investigate the reported torture and ill-treatment of 9 Christian citizens who were detained by the National Intelligence and Security Services on allegations of apostasy. ACJPS further called on Sudan to: drop the pending apostasy charges against the Darfuri priest, ensure the respect for religious rights and guarantee the individual’s freedom of religious creed and worship as provided for under the Interim National Constitution of 2005.
On 13 October 2018, the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) of Nyala, in South Darfur arrested 12 members of a local Christian Church in Nyala. Three of the 12 Christians come from the Nuba (Kawaleeb) tribe of South Kordofan and were released after 2 hours. The remaining 9, originally from Darfur, were held for 5 days. On 21 October 2018, 8 of the 9 Darfuri Christians were released after they renounced Christianity and returned to Islam. Before their release, they were charged with the offence of "public disturbance". The Priest, was charged with apostasy under Article 126 of the Sudanese Criminal Act of 1991 after he refused to convert to Islam. He was released on bail on 22 October 2018.
As reported by Christians, whilst in detention, they were subjected to torture and ill-treatment. As a result of the ill-treatment, four of them suffered serious injuries and have to be transferred from Nyala to Khartoum for further treatment.
As reported to Fides, ACJPS remains concerned about the provision of the crime of apostasy and the provision of the death penalty as punishment for those found guilty of apostasy. ACJPS is further concerned about the discriminatory application of legislation by the authorities against Sudanese non-Muslims. (AP) (Agenzia Fides, 7/11/2018)