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Sudan Police Release US Aid Worker

Published: Sat 18 Aug 2012 01:58 PM
Sudan Police Release US Aid Worker
Rudwan Dawod and wife Nancy
KHARTOUM and WASHINGTON, August 16, 2012: US humanitarian aid worker, Rudwan Dawod, has been release from custody tonight by Sudan's National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS).
Tom Prichard, the executive director of Sudan Sunrise in Washington DC, spoke with Dawod after his release.
"He sounded amazingly well and expressed his gratitude for everyone who helped get him released," Prichard said.
Dawod, a legal permanent US resident, was arrested in Khartoum, Sudan on July 3rd and falsely charged with terrorism for participating in a peaceful demonstration while in Sudan to visit family and renew his Sudanese passport. A Sudanese court acquitted Dawod of the false charge of terrorism on Monday, August 13th.
Directly after he received the verdict of "not guilty" Dawod was taken into custody by Sudan's NISS, and remained in NISS custody without being charged, or having access to his family or lawyer.
Dawod and other detained activists testified in court that they had suffered physical and psychological abuse, including being threatened with rape while detained by the NISS.
The US State Department issued the following statement in a press release on August 14:
Political activist Rudwan Dawod was re-arrested yesterday by the Government of Sudan's National Intelligence and Security Services, immediately following his release by a judge who had found him "not guilty" of the most serious charges leveled against him which included terrorism, and had imposed a modest fine (500 Sudanese Pounds-equal to $100) and a sentence limited to time already served.
We do not have any information on what the new charges are. We have urged the Government of Sudan to honor the decision by the judge, which was rooted in Sudanese criminal law as well as established precedent, in his decision to release Dawod.
Unconfirmed reports indicate that the Government of Sudan is slowly releasing political activists, and also indicate that the al-Bashir regime will release all political prisoners before August 18th, in order to celebrate the Muslim holiday Eid with their families.
"The international attention to Rudwan's detention may have contributed to the release of the other protesters who also have been released this week," Prichard said.
Rudwan Dawod is a project director for Sudan Sunrise, a non-governmental organization dedicated to building schools in South Sudan and working to facilitate reconciliationefforts to ensure lasting peace and the end of oppression in Sudan and South Sudan.

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