Friday, 18 September 2020

Sudanese court adjourns trial of Czech Christian activist

ČTK |
15 November 2016

Prague/Khartoum, Nov 14 (CTK) - A Sudanese court adjourned on Monday the trial of Czech citizen Petr Jasek, who was detained with three Africans last December and charged with subversive activities, until November 21, Czech Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Michaela Lagronova has told CTK.

Jasek does not face death penalty in Sudan, which some servers have reported, Czech diplomacy said.

Jasek, whose trial started in August, left for Sudan in order to help local Christians.

The trial will continue next week, but it is not sure whether the verdict will be issued, Lagronova added.

"Mr Jasek has an experienced Sudanese defence lawyer. It is hard to estimate the sentence to be meted out to him and when the court proceedings will end. Nevertheless, according to our sources, he is not likely to face capital punishment," Lagronova said.

The Czech honorary consul in Khartoum has been dealing with the case intensively and it is also been tackled on supreme diplomatic level, she said.

"A whole team of diplomats, including (Foreign) Minister (Lubomir) Zaoralek is dealing with the the case both at the Foreign Affairs Ministry and at our embassy in Cairo," Lagronova said.

She dismissed the information of humanitarian organisations about Jasek's bad physical and psychological condition.

"Jasek's health condition is satisfactory. It has not deteriorated in the past few weeks," Lagronova told CTK.

Representatives of the Czech embassy in Cairo, which is also in charge of Sudan, will soon bring him medicines to prison, she added.

The servers following Jasek's case have reported that the four men face death penalty. However, Czech Ambassador to Egypt Veronika Kuchynova Smigolova did not confirm it.

"His situation is really serious, but not irresolvable. The whole European Parliament also stood up for Petr Jasek in its resolution from October 4," MEP Tomas Zdechovsky (Christian Democrats, KDU-CSL) said.

He pointed out that this had considerably helped in the case of Sudanese Christian Mariam Ishag. "This woman, originally sentenced to death, was released and could leave the country," he said.

Zdechovsky also pointed to dreadful conditions in Sudanese prisons.

Jasek's right to a fair trial has been denied. The access of doctors and his family to him should have been secured, Zdechovsky said.

Jasek left for Sudan within a humanitarian mission. It was not his first trip to a dangerous area. He was helping Christians in Nigeria in the past.

The Christian Solidarity Worldwide server has reported that he was charged with spreading untrue information. He, along with the three Africans, is charged on seven counts, including subversion.

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