Khartoum – Sudan on Wednesday released several key civilian leaders and a former member of the ruling Sovereign Council, arrested in the months following a military coup last year, a lawyer said.
“All the leaders of the Forces for Freedom and Change, who were detained in recent weeks, have been released,” lawyer Azhari al-Haj told AFP.
The Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) is Sudan’s main civilian bloc, which was ousted from power following the October 25 military coup led by army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.
It derailed a fragile transition to civilian rule that had been established in the wake of longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir’s fall from power in 2019.
FFC members released include Babiker Faisal, Wagdi Saleh and Taha Othman, the lawyer said, as well as a former member of Sudan’s ruling council, Mohamed al-Fekki.
On Tuesday, authorities released Khaled Youssef, who was Sudan’s minister for cabinet affairs before the coup.
Before the coup, some of those released had also headed a committee tasked with recovering properties seized by Bashir’s regime.
Authorities have accused the committee of misappropriating funds that it confiscated, but its members have consistently denied these accusations.
UN special representative Volker Perthes welcomed their release.
“Their release…follows the decision by the responsible judge that there are no grounds for their detention,” he said.
Burhan pledged earlier this month to release political detainees to set the stage for talks among Sudanese factions.
Last year’s military power grab triggered wide international condemnation as well as repeated mass protests.
Picture: Getty Images