ICC Note: Two Sudanese pastors, members of the Sudanese Church of Christ (SCOC), are being charged of at least 7 alleged crimes against the state of Sudan. The prosecutors are calling for the death penalty, charging the pastors with tarnishing the country’s image through the propagation of false news articles, espionage, and the use of violence, among other things. Even though there is no evidence against these pastors, they continue to experience unfair treatment by the authorities for their faith. The treatment of Christians and other human rights violations has made Sudan a country of particular concern by the U.S. State Department since 1999. Therefore, Sudan ranks in the 8th place of countries where Christians face most persecution.
8/24/2016, South Sudan (Morning Star News) – Prosecutors in Sudan yesterday accused two church leaders and two others of tarnishing the image of the country and crimes calling for the death penalty, sources said.
The trial began yesterday after it was postponed on Aug. 14 when authorities failed to transfer the pastors to court, a defense attorney told Morning Star News. Yesterday prosecutors presented investigators from Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) in calling on the court in Khartoum to execute the Rev. Hassan Abdelrahim Tawor and the Rev. Kwa Shamaal, both of the Sudanese Church of Christ (SCOC), for at least seven alleged crimes against the state, the defense attorney said.
He said the defense team is bracing for the charges concocted, which include the capital crimes of espionage and waging war against the state. In court yesterday, Abdelrahim denied all charges that NISS, said to be staffed by hard-line Islamists with broad powers to arrest people the government deems undesirable, brought against him, the attorney said.
“We are 100 percent ready to defend our clients,” the attorney said.
The pastors have also been charged with: complicity to execute a criminal agreement; calling for opposition of the public authority by violence or criminal force; exciting hatred between classes; propagation of false news article; and entry and photograph of military areas and equipment.
“There is no evidence against the two pastors,” a relative of one of the church leaders told Morning Star News.