(Worthy News) – A pastor could face the death penalty after his attorney told International Christian Concern that the Sudanese government is planning to charge him with espionage and other crimes against the state.
Last December, Sudanese officials had arrested Church of Christ Pastor Hassan Taour and has held him incommunicado ever since.
According to Taour’s attorney, Mohaned Mustafa, his client is awaiting charges under several sections of Sudan’s Criminal Act of 1991. The charges range from “waging war against the state” to “disclosure and obtaining information and official documents.”
Mustafa defended Pastors Peter Yein Reith and Yat Michael who faced similar charges before international pressure compelled Sudan to release them in August. Mustafa also defended Meriam Ibrahim, who was sentenced to hang in 2014 for both apostasy and adultery by marrying a Christian and practicing his faith. Sudanese authorities released Ibrahim later that same year.
Sudan is a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which protects religious freedom.
“Sudan continues to show itself as the enemy of religious freedom and one of the prime persecutors of the Church in Africa,” said Troy Augustine, ICC’s regional manager for Africa. “The government’s actions towards Hassan Abduraheem Taour are deeply unjust …. However, as we have seen in the past with the cases of Meriam Ibrahim and Pastors Peter and Yat, Sudan often responds to international pressure. ICC calls on everyone concerned to voice your protest with the Sudanese Embassy in Washington and Ambassador Maowia Osman Khalid to call for Rev. Taour’s immediate release….”
Last week Sudanese authorities re-arrested Pastor Kwa Shamaal, who along with the Rev. Hassan Abdelrahim Tawor could face charges calling for the death penalty, according to Morning Star News.
As head of missions for the Sudanese Church of Christ, Shamaal was re-arrested in Khartoum after a National Intelligence and Security Services prosecutor interrogated him at security offices. Shamaal and Tawor had been arrested from their respective homes last December; Shamaal was released on Dec. 21, but he had to report daily to NISS office.
On May 10, Tawor was transferred from prison to a holding cell for those facing crimes against the state, indicating that his trial could soon come under fabricated charges of espionage and other serious offenses calling for the death penalty. An attorney said Shamaal could face the same charges….
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By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent