The Rev. Peter Yein Reith. (Morning Star News)
The Rev. Peter Yein Reith. (Morning Star News)

 

Mr. Mohammed Boushara Dossa,

Minister of Justice,

Ministry of Justice,

PO Box 302,

Khartoum, Sudan;

Fax: 249 183 764 168 / +249 183 770 883;

Email: [email protected]

Dear Minister of Justice,

I am William Nicholas Gomes, Human rights defender and Freelance journalist.

I would like to draw your attention to the following case.

According to the BosNewsLife Africa Service Rev. Yat Michael and the Rev. Peter Yein Reith, are held in the Omdurman prison. The agency suggested that Sudanese authorities have charged two South Sudanese pastors under laws that call for the death penalty.

According to the Morning star news , the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) officials have charged the Rev. Yat Michael and the Rev. Peter Yein Reith (also transliterated as Peter Yen Reith) with undermining the constitutional system (Article 50 of the Sudan Penal Code) and spying (Article 53) ? offenses punishable by death or life imprisonment ? and waging war against the state (Article 51), which calls for the death sentence.

The Morning star news further reported that they are also charged with inciting organized forces to complain and assaulting religious beliefs, which call for prison sentences.

Michael was arrested on Dec. 21, 2014 after visiting a church service in Khartoum, and Reith was arrested on Jan. 11 after submitting a letter from leaders of their denomination, the South Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church (SSPEC), inquiring about the whereabouts of Michael.

Their location was unknown for months, violating international human rights agreements, but on April 30 they were transferred from Khartoum?s downtown police station to a NISS detention center on Street 51 in Khartoum, Michael?s wife told Morning Star News. On Monday (May 4) they were transferred to Omdurman Prison.

It has been alleged that NISS officials have demanded $12,000 from the SSPEC secretary general, the Rev. Philip Akway Obang, for the release of the pastors. ?Local Christians are in fear that ?NISS would arrest other Christians and make the same demand in exchange for dropping charges.

Rights group Amnesty International has said that the NISS is an agency that is essentially above the law.

I am extremely concerned about the judicial harassment of Reverend Peter Yen and Reverend Yat Michael, as it seems only to aim at sanctioning his peaceful religious ?activities. I call upon authorities in Sudan to immediately and unconditionally drop all charges against them.

I urge the authorities of Sudan to:

i. Drop all charges against Reverend Peter Yen and Reverend Yat Michael, as they only aim at sanctioning their peaceful religious ?activities;

ii.Put an end to any kind of harassment, including at the judicial level, against Reverend Peter Yen and Reverend Yat Michael, and ensure in all circumstances that they are ?able to practice and promote their ?activities without hindrances;

iii. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Reverend Peter Yen and Reverend Yat Michael;

iv. Conform in any circumstances with the provisions of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, in particular

its Article 1, which states that ?everyone has the right, individually or in association with others, to promote the protection and realisation of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels?,

and its article 12.2 which provides that ?the State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration?;

v. Ensure in all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international human rights standards and international instruments ratified by Sudan.

Please note I am ?writing separate letter to the UN Special Rapporteur Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful and assembly and association calling for their intervention into this matter.

I look forward to your positive and swift action on this matter.

Yours sincerely,

William Nicholas Gomes

Human Rights Defender & ?Freelance Journalist

Twitter @wnicholasgomes

Email: [email protected]

www.facebook.com/williamnicholasgomes

 

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