UAE deports Sudanese dissident

The United Arab Emirates has extradited a dissident army officer to Sudan despite warnings from human-rights watchdogs that his life may be in danger.

The brigadier ran the former Sudanese Alliance Forces
The brigadier ran the former Sudanese Alliance Forces

UAE security personnel sent Brigadier Abd al-Aziz Khalid back to Khartoum on Wednesday to answer five-year-old charges of sabotage.

Former Sudanese attorney-general Umar Abd al-Aati told a large crowd of supporters and journalists that had gathered at the airport that there was no need for concern about the well-being of the former rebel army leader.

Referring to a general amnesty for political opponents issued in 2000, Abd al-Aati said – despite his involuntary return – he would be freed within hours.

“Khalid will be freed tonight or tomorrow. According to the justice minister [Ali Muhammad Usman], he was taken to the security offices only to complete some procedures,” the former attorney-general said. 
Concern for welfare

But a US-based human-rights watchdog has expressed concern for Khalid’s welfare and had appealed to the UAE authorities not to honour the extradition request.
“We believe that the Sudanese government’s extradition request is a politically motivated attempt to deny Abd al-Aziz Khalid of his rights to freedom of expression, association and movement,” New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRH) said in a 9 November letter.
“Abd al-Aziz Khalid is a respected Sudanese opposition figure who was travelling to the United Arab Emirates on 23 September 2004 to give lectures and hold meetings when he was arrested on a Sudanese government extradition request.” 
HRH noted that the Eritrea-based armed opposition group which Khalid had commanded – the Sudanese Alliance Forces – is now inactive and in negotiations with the government.

Source : AFP

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