Sudanese Islamist opposition leader Hassan al-Turabi
gives an interview to AFP in Khartoum on January 17, 2011 (Getty)
The opposition Popular Congress Party (PCP) has charged security quarters of poisoning its leader Hassan Al-Turabi who was hospitalized on Saturday due to injuries he sustained a week ago while in detention at Kober Prison in Khartoum.
The veteran Islamist leader was detained on 17 January for the sixth time since he was ousted from power in 1999 following a schism in the ruling Islamist movement which he masterminded its seizure of power in a military coup in 1989.
Verging on his eighties, Al-Turabi was arrested after he warned that the current government of President Al-Bashir could face a popular uprising modelled on those currently seen in some Arab countries if it fails to share power.
The PCP’s secretary general Kamal Omar on Monday accused security authorities of poisoning the party’s leader, saying that Al-Turabi’s health had severely deteriorated.
Omar further warned leaders of the ruling National congress Party (NCP) that they would be held responsible for any outcome of what he described as the weak medical attention afforded to Al-Turabi.
Al-Turabi’s family demanded that the authorities allows him to travel abroad to receive medical treatment, citing lack of faith in the medical attention he was receiving at Sahiroon police hospital in Khartoum.
Speaking in a press conference packed with PCP supporters chanting calls for retribution, Kamal Omar warned that if any repercussions occurred in Al-Turabi’s case “the streets will not be enough for us and then the NCP will know the wrath it brought upon itself.”
Al-Turabi’s wife told Sudan Tribune this month that NCP hardliner Nafi Ali Nafi had blocked any attempt to release her husband, and that the government was keeping him detained for fears that he would incite a popular uprising.
Separately, the PCP has leveled an attack on the UN AU hybrid peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNMID),accusing it of collaboration with the Sudanese government in arresting the party’s members in Darfur.
According to the PCP’s secretary of human rights Hassan Abdulla Al-Hussein, who was addressing the same press conference, UNAMID had participated in transporting political prisoners from remote areas in Darfur to state security offices in big towns.
The PCP official alleged that UNAMID used one of its private jets two months ago to transport the party’s member Hassab Allah Gamaa from an area called Alli’aid Jar Al Nabi to Al Fashir town in north Darfur.
Al Hussein said that he had met UNAMID’s chief Ibrahim Gambari who promised to probe the case, adding that his party intends to report the matter to the UN’s secretary general Ban Ki-Moon.