Bratislava, Feb 17 (CTK) – Some 400,000 people from all over the world have signed a petition for the release of Czech Petr Jasek, whom a Sudanese court sent to prison for more than 20 years for espionage and subversion in January, the CitizenGO international organisation’s Slovak branch told CTK Friday.
Christian activist Jasek was arrested in Sudan in 2015. Czech diplomacy says he was there on a missionary expedition aimed to help local Christians.
The Sudanese authorities charged him and another three Africans with seven crimes.
While the Czech Foreign Ministry says Jasek was sentenced to 20 years behind bars, his defence lawyer Umar Faruk claims his client was given 24 years.
Jasek was convicted of entering Sudan without a visa, espionage, taking photos in military zones and fomenting hatred between local communities, Faruk said.
CitizenGo has reported that Jasek had been sentenced to 23 years and six months and a fine of 100,000 Sudanese pounds, an equivalent of almost 400,000 crowns.
The Release International organisation writes on its website that the four persons were prosecuted for financing anti-government movements in Darfur and South Kordofan, but in fact they only wanted to help a student from Darfur who suffered burns during a demonstration.
Jasek brought a 5,000-dollar gift for the costs of the burnt student’s treatment, human rights advocates say.
The CitizenGo’s petition with 400,000 signatures is addressed to the U.N. Human Rights Commissioner, whose office has already received it, and the Sudanese government.