Khartoum: Toppled Sudan president Omar Al-Bashir, who was overthrown a few days back after a popular uprising, is currently jailed with political prisoners of his fallen regime.
Bashir, who has been in custody ever since he was toppled, was on Wednesday moved to the maximum-security Kober prison, where he jailed several politicians who opposed his 30-year dictatorial rule. Sources in Sudan reveal that Kober Prison is a detention centre for all people who were deemed to be opposing Bashir’s government or convicted of political crimes during his regime. However, the same prison also holds many of Bashir’s former army officers, government officials and key political figures who were his allies.
But the history about this prison is that it is a renowned Execution Site for prisoners and convicts. “He would’ve been led past the same hangman’s noose where he sent people to meet their Creator,” said one of the prison officials. However, while Bashir awaits being paraded in court to face various crimes, his former Interior Minister Abdelrahim Mohamed Hussein and Ahmed Haroun, who headed the ruling party, will be charged with corruption and the death of protesters. Despite all this, protesters are still on the streets of Khartoum, demanding for the arrest of all Bashir’s army and police officers, who commanded the shooting of several protesters who were killed during the mass protests that led to the downfall of Bashir’s regime. Bashir was toppled in a military coup last week and was arrested, alongside other top officials, by the new regime in Sudan headed by Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan. On Thursday, following four months of the biggest street protests in Sudan, the country’s defense minister and former vice president, Awad Ibn Auf, took over power, after announcing Bashir’s arrest. But just a day later, he stepped down, giving way to Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, another high-ranking military officer.
Sudan’s military had previously said they would prosecute Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC), but would not extradite him. After dissolving Bashir’s government, the military said it would remain in power for up to two years, despite large street protests against their rule. The masses want the military to hand over power to civilians. On Tuesday, a Ugandan foreign minister Sam Kutesa said his country would consider offering Bashir asylum, although this has sparked off mixed reactions from Parliament, religious leaders, politicians and the international community. On Wednesday, Amnesty International released a statement calling on Bashir to be tried by the ICC for war crimes in Darfur. “More than a decade after the first arrest warrant was issued against him in 2009, the time has come for al-Bashir to face justice at the ICC,” said Joan Nyanyuki, Amnesty’s International Director for East Africa, the Horn and the
Bashir faces five counts of crimes against humanity and two counts of war crimes at the ICC in The Hague in connection with Sudanese military actions in Darfur between 2003 and 2008. Sudan’s ruling military transitional council is now being pressured to hand him over to the ICC and relinquish to a civilian government. But this comes at a time when the African Union is threatening to revoke Sudan’s membership unless the country’s military establishes civil rule within 15 days. Meanwhile, today Thursday, Sudan’s protest organisers have presented their demands, including the creation of a civilian government. A statement by the Alliance for Freedom and Change, an umbrella group leading the protests, said a 10-member delegation submitted its list of demands to the military during a meeting on Saturday. The statement was issued shortly after the arrest of Bashir’s brothers. Shams al-Din Kabashi, spokesman for the transitional military council, said on Wednesday that Abdullah al-Bashir and Alabas al-Bashir were taken into custody as part of a continuing campaign of arrests against “symbols and leaders of the previous regime”.