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Charge or Free Opposition Leaders, Sudan Told

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, shown here speaking at the National Congress Party headquarters in Khartoum in April 2012.(AP)
Human Rights Watch has called on Sudan to bring charges against or release six leading opposition figures, who were detained last month after they took part in talks calling for regime change in Khartoum.

"It appears the reason for them having been detained has to do with participating in the negotiations in Kampala," at which a charter calling for the overthrow of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir's National Congress Party was drafted, Human Rights Watch's Jehanne Henry said.

According to Henry, the men are being held in unnacceptable conditions and have been denied access to their families or lawyers.

"This is certainly not the first time Sudan has lashed out at the opposition by detaining people," Henry added.

Detaining opposition figures was Khartoum's way of "silencing dissent," she said.

Listen to Sudan/South Sudan Human Rights Watch researcher Jehanne Henry's interview with John Tanza here:

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    John Tanza

    John Tanza works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters and is the managing editor and host of the  South Sudan In Focus radio program.
    Before joining VOA, John worked in Nairobi, Kenya where he established the first independent radio station (Sudan Radio Service) for the people of Sudan. He has covered several civil wars both in Sudan and South Sudan and has been engaged in the production of civic education materials for creating awareness about post conflict issues facing Sudanese and South Sudanese. John has interviewed South Sudan President Salva Kiir, former Vice President Riek Machar, Vice President Wani Igga, leader of Sudan’s Umma Party Sadiq Al Mahdi in addition to other senior United Nations and U.S government officials in South Sudan and Washington. His travels have taken him across to Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Egypt, Ethiopia, Syria, DRC Congo and parts East Africa where he reported on the South Sudanese diaspora and the challenges facing them.
    A South Sudanese national, John enjoys listening to music from all over the world, reads academic books, watches documentaries and listens to various radio stations on the internet.  You can follow John on Twitter at @Abusukon