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13.06.2014 Sudan

Sudan opposition chief's daughters held at demo

By AFP
Sudan's former prime minister Sadiq al-Mahdi, in Khartoum on May 15, 2014.  By Ebrahim Hamid (AFP/File)
LISTEN JUN 13, 2014
Sudan's former prime minister Sadiq al-Mahdi, in Khartoum on May 15, 2014. By Ebrahim Hamid (AFP/File)

Khartoum (AFP) - Sudanese police on Friday detained four daughters of opposition leader Sadiq al-Mahdi as they violently broke up a protest demanding freedom for political prisoners, his party said.

"Police used violence and arrested 17 people including four daughters of Umma party leader Sadiq al-Mahdi," party secretary general Sarra Naqdallah told AFP.

Mahdi himself, a former prime minister, was arrested on May 17 after he reportedly accused the counter-insurgency Rapid Support Forces of rape and other abuses of civilians in the Darfur region of western Sudan.

Since his arrest, several pro-Mahdi demonstrations have been held, and his Umma party has decided to quit the "national dialogue".

Mahdi is under investigation on charges of treason, and could be sentenced to death if convicted.

Journalists in Sudan were banned from investigating or publishing information about his arrest.

The RSF operates under the authority of the National Intelligence and Security Service and has denied Mahdi's reported claims.

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