Letter to the President of the Republic of Sudan

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His Excellency Lieutenant General Omar Hassan al-Bashir
President of the Republic of Sudan
People's Palace
PO Box 281
Khartoum, Sudan

Dear Mr. President:

It has come to our attention that your government has arrested and detained two Roman Catholic priests last month, Father Lino Sebit and Father Hilary Boma. We are concerned for their safety and health, and write to request that you take immediate action to ensure their well-being by granting them their quick release.

Reports have reached us of the arrest and detention of up to two dozen other human rights activists, as well. If your government insists on holding these persons, we would urge in the name of justice that you make their names, whereabouts and the charges against them public, that they gain access to medical care and independent legal defence, that they receive a fair and open trial, and especially that they are treated humanely while in detention and be allowed to receive visitors.

At the same time that we are aware that the present situation in your country is tense, we also remain convinced that the path to development and peace lies through the pursuit of justice and good governance which respects the human dignity of all Sudanese.

We thank you for your attention to this matter, and hope for your positive response, especially concerning the cases of Fathers Sebit and Boma.


+Most Reverend François Thibodeau, CJM
Human Rights Committee
Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops

cc Mr. Abel Basset Sabdrat
Minister of Justice and Attorney-General

Mr. Abdelghani Awadelkarim
Chargé d'affaires, Embassy of the Republic of Sudan

Hon. Lloyd Axworthy
Minister for Foreign affairs and International Trade

Last Updated on Tuesday, June 27 2006  
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On January 13th 2010, Most Reverend Vincent Nguyen became Canada’s first Catholic Bishop of East Asian descent. He is the great-grandson of a Vietnamese Martyr.