Rev. Hassan Abduraheem | Sudan – RELEASED!
We are praising God today for the release of Rev. Hassan Abduraheem Kodi Taour (pictured far right), and Abdulmonem Abdumawla from prison in Sudan.
The two Sudanese nationals were arrested in December 2015 along with Petr Jasek, a Czech national who was VOM’s Africa-Region Director.
Rev. Abduraheem and Mr. Abdumawla were each sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment for abetting Mr Jasek in the crime of espionage, and to one year’s imprisonment each for inciting strife between communities and spreading rumours undermining the authority of the state (even though the legal maximum penalty for this last crime is six months’ imprisonment).
Middle East Concern reports that this week the two men were released from prison this afternoon (local time in Sudan) after a presidential pardon.
Petr Jasek had all his charges dropped and was released earlier this year, with assistance of the Czech government.
Join us in praising God for all of these brothers being released, and pray for the Church in Sudan to continue to stand strong in the face of increasing government persecution.
Rev. Hassan Abduraheem, 49, who serves as Secretary-General of the Sudan Church of Christ (SCOC), was detained on 18 December 2015, in Khartoum, Sudan. He is one of four men currently on trial on at least seven charges, some of which carry the potential death penalty or life imprisonment.
Rev. Abduraheem and the other men are accused of breaking several sections of Sudan’s criminal code: conspiring against the state, espionage against the country, entering and photographing military areas and works, calling for opposition to public authority by use of violence, provoking hatred against or amongst sects, and publishing false news. In addition, they also face charges of immigrating in illegal ways and conducting voluntary jobs without permission from the authorities under Sudan’s immigration and passport laws.
In November 2015, Rev. Abduraheem, Rev. Kuwa Shamal and Czech national Petr Jasek attended a conference for Christian leaders where Rev. Abduraheem was a presenter. While speaking on his work as a church leader in Sudan, Rev. Abduraheem showed a picture of a young man from Darfur who had been badly injured during a demonstration. Mr. Jasek later met with the injured man in Khartoum and donated money toward the man’s medical treatment. As Mr. Jasek left Sudan, he was searched by the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), who discovered a receipt for the donation to the injured man. They then confiscated his personal belongings, including his mobile phone, laptop and camera.
Nine days after arresting Mr. Jasek, NISS officers arrested Rev. Abduraheem, who had signed the receipt, and Rev. Shamal. Charges were officially filed in August 2016. At least three court dates have been delayed because a translator failed to appear in court.
Pastor Kodi is originally from the Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan. The NISS claims that the donation by Mr. Jasek was actually financial support for rebel movements in the South Kordofan, Blue Nile and Darfur regions of Sudan.
Rev. Abduraheem is reportedly suffering from duodenal ulcers. His lawyer also complained that the prison meals were poor in quality, leading to further physical challenges. Please pray for Rev. Abduraheem’s health and that these men will receive a just verdict and immediate release so they can be reunited with their families.
Write a letter of encouragement to Rev. Hassan Abduraheem. Mail your letter in care of the Sudan Embassy in London, to let Sudan’s government know that Christians around the world are aware of his case and are concerned for these four falsely accused men.
Address for Rev. Hassan Abduraheem:
Embassy of the Republic of the Sudan
3 Cleveland Row