Party and family reax to arrest of top Islamist opposition leader

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Party and family reax to arrest of top Islamist opposition leader

(18 Jan 2011) SHOTLIST
FILE – Khartoum – 9 March 2009
1. Close up of Islamist opposition leader Hassan Turabi on phone after his release from nearly seven weeks of detention
2. Various of Turabi greeting guests
Khartoum – 18 January 2011
3. Exterior of Turabi’s house
4. Women outside Turabi’s house
5. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Imamah Hassan Al Turabi, daughter of detained opposition leader:
“The detentions have been so many and the government accusations that nobody is stopping. For us in the family, we are very worried for him and we pray to God to to grant him victory and of course this kind of action by the government is typical of a dictatorial regime. At this stage, we don’t know where he is, but we suspect he is in Kober prison and we hope to visit him soon.”
6. Daughter walking out of room
7. Various of sign for the opposition Popular Congress Party outside the party’s headquarters
8. Wide of opposition party headquarters
9. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Mudathir Dahab, editor of newspaper for the Popular Congress Party:
“The ruling party is in a state of confusion and the imprisonment of Turabi is a way to try to stop the man who leads the Sudanese people’s revolution from taking place but this will not happen. In my opinion, the ruling party will soon be finished.”
10. Various interior courtyard of opposition party headquarters
STORYLINE
Sudan’s security forces arrested the country’s top Islamist opposition leader after he called for a Tunisia-style uprising in the country, family members said on Tuesday.
Hassan Turabi and his bodyguard were taken into custody around midnight on Monday, according to the family.
Around eight other members of Turabi’s Islamic Popular Congress Party also were arrested, they said.
There was no official comment on the detentions from Sudanese authorities.
But the semi-official Sudan Media Centre quoted an unnamed high ranking security official as saying Turabi, who is the archrival of President Oman al-Bashir, and his party had been providing financial and political support to rebel movements in the troubled Darfur region.
Turabi is popular in Darfur and he is believed to be the mentor of the leader of the Justice and Equality Movement, the most powerful Darfur rebel group.
Khartoum has accused Turabi before of fomenting the rebellion in Darfur.
The elder Turabi recently spoke out against al-Bashir’s government and called for a popular revolt similar to the one in Tunisia that toppled that country’s authoritarian president, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
A recent hike in the price of oil and basic commodities has sparked protests by university students and calls for the resignation of local officials.
Turabi’s challenge to al-Bashir’s government came at a tumultuous time for Sudan.
Voters in the country’s south on Saturday wrapped up a week-long referendum on independence that is widely expected to see southern Sudan split off into a new country.
Al-Bashir, who is wanted on an international indictment for war crimes and crimes against humanity in the western region of Darfur, also faces rebellions in the west and east, as well as internal political opposition.
Turabi was the driving force behind the 1989 military coup that brought al-Bashir to power before.
The two set up an Islamist-style government, until they fell out in 1999, and Turabi set up his own party.
He was the only Sudanese politician who has dared say al-Bashir should surrender to an international court.
Turabi has been arrested several times in the past, most recently in May when he was held for seven weeks.

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