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Sudanese communists condemn arrest of general secretary

THE SUDANESE Communist Party has condemned the arrest of the party’s general secretary Muhammad Mukhtar al-Khatib who was released in the early hours of this morning. 

Security forces detained him and political bureau member Salih Mahmoud at Khartoum airport on Thursday after they had returned from Juba, the capital of South Sudan. 

No information was available about the reason for their arrests or whether charges have been brought against the pair, but the party has previously been targeted because of the role it plays in the anti-junta protest movement. 

In a statement on Thursday evening, the SCP condemned the arrests and called on the international community and human rights organisations “to exert maximum pressure on Sudan’s ruling junta for the unconditional and immediate release of all political detainees.”

Thousands took to the streets in the capital Khartoum and other cities on Thursday as they continue to demand an end to military rule. The Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors said that tear gas was fired “in large quantities” to disperse the crowds. 

Demonstrations have taken place regularly since Abdel Fattah al-Burhan seized power in a military coup last October. 

Hundreds have been arrested during protests which have been met with a violent response by Sudanese security forces. At least 95 people are believed to have been killed while in December the United Nations raised concerns over gang rape during a demonstration. 

Some 18 million Sudanese people face a looming food crisis according to UN agencies.

The SCP has called for continuation of the revolution and the rejection of reform packages and economic restructuring at the behest of the International Monetary Fund. 

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