To Archbishop Dr Joseph Marona and all friends of the Church in Sudan
After church leaders decided to cancel Easter celebration due to the change of venue from Green square to Haj-yousif which is located to outskirts of Khartoum North.
The Christians gathered for prayer at all Saints Cathedral Khartoum of the Episcopal Church of the Sudan on Wednesday 11th. April where by the Church authorities were to also brief them of the steps taken to approach the government over the unfair treatment they were given to ban the celebration at Green Square.
While people were in the Cathedral, few individuals who were outside the Church compound clashed with the riot police led by three Brigadiers who had already arrived on the site of the Cathedral. The police reacted with full force by firing tear gas and high explosive hand grenades inside the Cathedral building. At least two people were injured, 54 were arrested and they are being taken for trial.
Abel Alier the former vice president, myself and others were taken to the state security and detained for more than two hours. Alfred Taban, BBC reporter was among the group, and so far as I am writing Alfred Taban and another reporter from an Arabic news paper (Alraya Alakhar) have not been released and their fate is uncertain.
The police had arrested 56 people who had turned up at Green Square the day before without knowing about the cancellation of the celebration due to the short notice.Three (3) were hit by live bullets and are hospitalized.
The latest regarding the 55 who were arrested from inside the Cathedral and the provost house were sentenced to flogging 15 lashes each (two boys under the age of 18 and six girls). The remaining 47 were sentenced to imprisonment between 7 to 21 days. The court rejected the lawyer who was brought in to defend them. Edward Jamin who had a hand chopped off by the grenade passed away in hospital this evening.
The windows, doors and chairs in the Cathedral were smashed and broken. The altar was overturned and the carpets on the floor smeared with blood and littered with empty tear gas cartridges. Live bullets were also used which left marks on the Cathedral walls.
The following were seriously wounded: Eltaib Khalil Lein, Paulino Aban, Ambrose Sabit, Simon Rombang, Deng Garang.
Please pray for us and for those who are in hospital, prison and the whole Christian church in the Sudan to remain faithful to the Lord.
Revd Ezekiel Kondo
On behalf of churches in Sudan