News24

Sudan urged to free US resident

2012-08-15 07:55

Washington - Washington on Tuesday urged Sudan to release a resident of the United States who was re-arrested just after being freed in one of the first trials of people detained in protests against President Omar al-Bashir's government.

Radwan Daoud was re-arrested by Sudanese security services on Monday, the same day a judge found him not guilty of the most serious charges against him, which included terrorism, the State Department said in a statement.

"We have urged the Government of Sudan to honour the decision by the judge, which was rooted in Sudanese criminal law as well as established precedent, in his decision to release Daoud," the statement said.

Daoud has legal permanent resident status in the United States, although his origins are in Sudan's western Darfur region.

Sudan avoided the Arab Spring uprisings that unseated rulers in neighbouring Libya last year, but austerity measures taken to cope with an economic crisis led to small demonstrations calling for the government to step down.

Sudanese activists say more than 1 000 people have been detained for taking part in such protests, though the number cannot be verified independently.

At Daoud's trial, the judge, Abbas Khalifah, ordered him to pay 500 Sudanese pounds ($90) for planning to burn tires during a protest. The judge then ordered Daoud's release, but security agents took him away just as police were about to free him, one of Daoud's lawyers said.