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Diplomats seek return of imprisoned Czech missionary from Sudan

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Prague, March 3 (CTK) – Czech diplomats have been negotiating about the case of a Czech man arrested in Sudan, Christian missionary Petr Jasek, and they want to bring him to his homeland, a source acquainted with the case told CTK on Thursday.

The Czech Foreign Ministry has been intensively negotiating on several fronts, its spokeswoman Michaela Lagronova said.

Jasek, 52, has been in a Sudanese prison since early December. He went to Sudan to help the local Christians and he visited the risky region already before.

According to CTK’s information, Jasek faces several serious accusations that are not related to his missionary activities, including the illegal crossing of the border between Sudan and South Sudan.

Lagronova said the Czech and Sudanese foreign ministries communicated about the case directly, Sudan’s ambassador in Prague dealt with it as well as the future Czech honorary consul in Sudan.

“The diplomatic mission in Cairo also helps us and we use the representation of the European Union in Sudan as well,” she said.

The ministry will not provide any further information on the case, Lagronova said.

According to CTK’s source, Czech diplomats want to reach an agreement on the transfer of Jasek to the Czech Republic.

A Czech diplomatic official visited Jasek in prison several times. The ministry offered to provide Jasek with a lawyer, but he has not accepted the offer so far.

Jasek’s health condition is good, Lagronova said.

If Jasek is not allowed to return to his homeland, he will be put on trial in Sudan, probably later this month. As the Sudanese legislation includes elements of the Sharia law and Christians are persecuted in the country, a strict punishment can be expected. According to CTK’s information, Jasek does not face a death penalty.

Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD), a Czech daily paper, wrote that Jasek made videos about the persecutions of Christians in Sudan. The key piece of evidence against him is a video recording in which a burnt man speaks of violence against Christians committed by Muslims.

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