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ICC Note

2 Church leaders in Sudan have been fined with charges of criminal misappropriation and trespass, following a long-running dispute over church land and property. The government has claimed that Rafat Samir, chairman of the Lands and Buildings Committee of the Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church (SPEC), and Daniel William, the deputy chairman, were each dismissed from these positions. The government then instituted their own patsy to fulfill those roles. The problem is that the courts in Khartoum said that Mr. Samir is the actual Chairman and not the government appointed man. This is all a bid by the corrupt regime to control and destroy the church in Sudan.

 

2017-11-08 Sudan (WorldWatchMonitor) Two Sudanese church leaders have been found guilty of criminal misappropriation and trespass, following a long-running dispute over church land and property.

Rafat Samir, chairman of the Lands and Buildings Committee of the Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church (SPEC), and Daniel William, the deputy chairman, were each fined 5,000 Sudanese pounds (approximately US$750) by a court in Khartoum on 30 October. Christian Solidarity Worldwide called their conviction and the punishment “unjust”.

The conflict originates in a dispute between SPEC and the Ministry of Guidance and Endowments, which in 2013 authorised and charged an illegally convened land and buildings committee with the administration of the SPEC’s church property.

Church leaders say this government-backed committee has been interfering with internal church matters and involved in selling off property to investors.

 

Fraud

Rafat Samir, who was appointed chair of the Church Council in 2012, was first arrested in April 2016 following allegations by his predecessor of trespassing, criminal possession and illegally impersonating the chair of the Council – a role his predecessor, Hamad Muhammad Salah, claims still belongs to him.

Salah was dismissed from the role in 2012 for fraud, but the government reinstated him, even though it had no legal authority to do so.

Since his reinstatement, Salah has sold off church property to businessmen with links to the government, even though last year an administrative court in Sudan ruled that Samir, not Salah, is the legal chair of the Council.

Several members of SPEC have been detained or assaulted after peacefully protesting at the selling off or demolition of their buildings, including their homes.

 

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