Sudanese Authorities to Charge Pastor W/ Crimes That Could Carry Death Penalty

Sudanese Authorities to Charge Detained Pastor with Crimes That Could Carry Death Penalty, ICC Learns

5/24/16 Washington, DC (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that a Christian pastor could face the death penalty after his attorney told ICC that the government is planning to charge him with espionage and various crimes against the state.

Sudanese intelligence officials (NISS) arrested Taour on December 21, 2015 and held him incommunicado, blocking his access to family and legal counsel until this week. Taour serves as a reverend with the Sudan Church of Christ.

According to Taour’s attorney, Mohaned Mustafa, Taour still awaits official charges, but they could draw from sections 50, 51, 53, 55, and 64 of the Sudan Criminal Act of 1991. These include “undermining the constitutional system,”“waging war against the state,” “disclosure and obtaining information and official documents,” “provoking hatred against or amongst sects,” and espionage. Three of these crimes carry the possibility of the death penalty, if convicted.

“We believe there is no case,” Mustafa told ICC. “I think the case [will be sent] to the court this month,” he said.

Mustafa defended pastors Peter Yein Reith and Yat Michael, who faced similar death penalty charges during the summer of 2015, before global international pressure on Sudan compelled a judge to release them without further penalty on August 6. Mustafa also defended Meriam Ibrahim, a Christian woman sentenced to hang in 2014, charged with apostasy and adultery for marrying a Christian man and practicing the Christian faith. Sudanese authorities released Ibrahim on June 26, 2014.