Turabi's son: Tunisian revolution is behind the arrest of my father

Asmaa Husseini from Juba, Saturday 22 Jan 2011

In an interview with Ahram Online, the son of opposition figure Hassan Al-Turabi expressed his belief that his father's imprisonment is a testament to growing fear in Khartoum of a Tunisian-style revolution in Sudan

Islamist opposition leader Hassan Al-Turabi, 76, sits on a couch in his house in Khartoum, in this 9 March 2009 file photo. (Reuters)

Relatives of opposition figure Hassan Al-Turabi, leader of the opposition Popular Congress Party (PCP), have appealed to the international community as well as Sudanese political forces to set him free.

Sudanese authorities have prevented all but his son Essam Al-Turabi from visiting him. The rest of his family has staged a sit in since his detention last Monday.

Nevertheless, sounding as though in high spirits, Essam told Ahram Online that his father took lightly the declared reasons for his arrest. Sudanese authorities have announced different reasons for Turabi's detention: some related to his ties with the Justice and Equality Movement in Darfur while other reasons cited involvement in planning a series of assassinations and various other violent crimes.

“His arrest is a clear indicator that authorities in Sudan are fearful of a popular uprising turning into a reproduction of what actually happened in Tunisia,” Essam says. Turabi, however, has stressed since 1999 his total rejection to a regime change by means of a military coup.

 “Popular uprising” is his only choice.

Meanwhile, Turabi’s family have reiterated their right to provide needed medical care for Turabi since they are uncertain that Sudanese authorities are willing to do so, describing their alleged claims as “contradictory lies.”

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