Kept in an unknown location and detained without charge...Help free two (more) Pastors in Sudan
Rev. Telahoon Rata and Rev. Hassan Taour were both detained in mid-December by Sudan's NISS (National Intelligence and Security Service) agents, who took them into custody at their respective homes.
However, they have not been charged and are now being held, against their will, in an undisclosed location - cut-off from legal defence, from their families, and from their congregations.
The reason their cases are only now coming to light, is because, under Sudanese law, detainees must be presented before the court or released after 45 days. Now that more than 45 days have elapsed, serious concerns are being raised about their physical condition and legal status.
In fact, their lawyers and supporters, who have been prevented contact with the pastors, have, by now, written several formal letters to Sudan's Human Rights Council, as well as to several Sudanese government ministries, including the Ministry of Religious Affairs.
But, no reply has been received.
Additionally, sources, close to the case, say that Rev. Rata was initially taken into custody on "religious charges", but, now, rumours are that he may be charged with espionage.
This is the same modus operandi used - that is, presenting trumped-up spying charges - by the Sudanese Government when they arrested two other Christian pastors, Rev. Yat Michael and Rev. Peter Yein Reith, in early 2015.
Both of those pastors were eventually released...but, only after 8 months of jail time...
So, before more time elapses, and before the Sudanese Government presents bogus charges against these two Christian pastors, we must raise our voices against this unjust detention.
Therefore, this petition seeks the immediate release of Pastors Rata and Taour.
By this petition, we will contact the UN, the US, and the Sudanese Government. The UN and the US need to apply pressure on Sudan, and the Sudanese Government needs to understand that there are consequences for attempting to suppress religious freedom.
In the case of the US, the Ambassador at-large for International Religious Freedom, Mr. David Saperstein, can propose that his colleagues at the State Department push for economic sanctions to be applied for this presumed violation of religious freedom.
And, on the UN side, Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, can take the Sudanese Government to task, publicly, for presumptively violating Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (dealing with religious freedom) AND Sudan's own constitutional guarantee of religious freedom, found in Section 6 of their Constitution.
Both the US and UN representatives need to hear from you.
Please sign this urgent petition, and let's help get these Christian Pastors, Rata and Taour, released!
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Sign this petition now!
Sudan must now Release uncharged Christian Pastors Rata and Taour