Two South Sudanese pastors are being held in a high security prison in Sudan, potentially facing the death penalty.
This is because of their support for a church which has been embroiled in a land dispute with private investors, who are supported by the government. Sudanese security officials say they were offended by Reverend Yat Michael’s speech encouraging the church to stand firm. Reverend Peter Reith was arrested after he sent a letter asking why and where Reverend Michael was being held.
Rev Yat Michael and Rev Peter Reith are being held on six charges, two of which carry the death penalty or life imprisonment in the case of a conviction.
Last Thursday the trial judge decided that their case will proceed on all charges and the next hearing will take place on 14 July, when the defence will present its case.
What’s even more concerning is that the pastors’ access to their lawyers and family has been restricted – the judge told their chief counsel (the head of their legal team) that he’ll only be allowed 15 minutes with them before their next court hearing. They haven’t been allowed family visits at the prison since they were moved to a high security facility in June.
Email the Sudanese Embassy here