Sudan: Religious teacher faces death penalty for defending human rights
The government of Sudan has intensified its attempts to silence Matar Younis Ali Hussein, a visually impaired religious teacher who faces the death penalty for nothing more than criticising the government’s repression in Darfur and standing up for human rights, said Amnesty International ahead of a court hearing on 12 July.
Matar Younis, aged 48, could face the death penalty or life imprisonment if found guilty of trumped up charges of allegedly ‘waging war against the State’ and ‘undermining the constitutional system’. He has also been charged with ‘espionage’.
“The Sudanese authorities have continuously shown contempt for the human rights of the people of Darfur. Matar Younis has been one of the few voices for victims in Darfur who has consistently, fearlessly and publicly asked the government to change its harmful policies and protect the displaced people of Darfur. He should not be criminalized for standing up for human rights,” said Seif Magango, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.
“The Sudanese authorities must drop all charges against Matar Younis and release him immediately and unconditionally. Amnesty International recognizes Matar Younis as a Prisoner of Conscience. It is absurd that this courageous man who dared to criticize the continuous human rights violations against the people in his region could face the death penalty.”