Daily Archives: 10/03/2018

Sudan: Govt Bans Ailing NUP/DBA Leader From Travelling to Cairo

March 9, 2018

Image result for lawyer Mohamed Abdellah El Doma

On Thursday the security services banned lawyer Mohamed Abdellah El Doma, the co-president of the National Umma Party (NUP) and chairman of Darfur Bar Association (DBA) from traveling to Cairo for medical treatment, and confiscated his passport.

El Doma, who spent more than a month in detention, told Radio Dabanga that on Thursday as he was on his way to Cairo for treatment after completing all the travel procedures. “One of the security personnel informed me I was banned from travelling on orders from senior authorities and confiscated my passport.”

He asserts that this procedure is considered a violation of the right to travel and treatment that will affect his health which, he said, was already deteriorating when he was detained.

In a statement, the NUP strongly condemned the banning after more than a month of detention and the confiscation of his passport without legal justification.

The NUP said that the health situation of El Doma requires urgent medical follow-up, especially since he had already undergone surgery and received treatment in Cairo during the past three months and that the period of detention under extremely harsh conditions in Shala prison has doubled his suffering from back pain.







March 9, 2018

When I lived in Egypt more than 15 years ago, I knew a gentleman who regularly ran in local elections.  He never put any work into a campaign or hoped to win office, but he ran, nonetheless, and thus gave his opponent the appearance of having real competition.

Today Egypt is preparing for a presidential election that will—like nearly all those before it—follow this same model. During the elections that will take place from March 26–28, Egyptians will have the opportunity to choose between incumbent President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Moussa Mostafa Moussa, the chairman of the Al-Ghad party who was, until the day he announced his candidacy (after every other intended candidate had withdrawn or, in the least subtle case, been arrested), actively campaigning for Sisi. The outcome, of course, is all but guaranteed.

The veneer of democracy in Egypt has always been thin, but since the rise of Sisi, only the most half-hearted effort has been made to keep up the façade.

Shortly after the mother’s arrest, Ezzat Ghoneim, the prominent human rights lawyer who was handling her case—as well as Wadnan’s—went missing as well, turning up on March 4 to be interrogated in front of the State Security Prosecution. That was a day after prosecutors requested the death penalty in a mass political trial that includes the photojournalist Mahmoud Abou Zeid, known as “Shawkan,” who was detained in 2013 while covering the massacre in Raba’a Square and who could now be executed for his work as a journalist.







Turkey/EU/European Parliament: EP member Sommer: High time for EU to act over shocking developments in Turkey

March 9, 2018

Dr. Renate Sommer, a member of the European Parliament (MEP), has called on the European Union to put more pressure on Turkey’s autocratic regime under the rule of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and stated that “If the EU keeps feeding carrots without ever using the stick, it will lose its credibility and betray its own values. It is high time to act for the EU!”

Sommer, who has been a German Christian Democrat MEP since 1999 and a member of the EPP Group in the European Parliament, wrote an article for the Brussels-based online news outlet Vocal Europe on Friday and said: “The state of the rule of law, democracy and human rights in Turkey is shocking. Since the failed coup, the Turkish government misuses the steadily prolonged state of emergency to silence critics from all fields. Members of the opposition, journalists, human rights activists, academics and others are arrested on ridiculous grounds.”

“Those who counted on the balancing power of the Turkish Justice system were deeply disappointed,” Sommer said and added that “Lower courts ignored the rulings by the Turkish constitutional court to release the journalists Mehmet Altan and Şahin Alpay. The decision to release human rights activist Taner Kılıc was withdrawn only several hours after the ruling became public. Those examples show that Turkey is not governed by the rule of law but by the rule of despotism.”

Renate Sommer’s article continues as follows: 

“Unbelievably many critics lost their jobs. Especially entrepreneurs who were members of the Gülen Movement were expropriated, their companies closed or nationalized, and sold by the state.

Interestingly, and this is not well known outside Turley, this expropriation began even before the coup attempt. Meanwhile one third of all lawyers and judges, one tenth of the police force, 110.000 officials and teachers and 5000 academics were simply laid-off. All of those people are left with nothing. From one minute to the other, they lost their pension rights, have no financial support at all and cannot find a new job. The atmosphere in the Turkish population is poisoned by a network of informants on alleged Gulen members and on critics against the government or the president. There is an overall climate of fear.

As member of the Joint-Parliamentary Committee and Standing EPP Rapporteur on Turkey, I have been criticizing the developments in Turkey for many years. The events after the coup, however, made things much worse.