(By Faith McDonnell, Juicy Ecumenism). January 2017 brought the shocking news that Christian missionary and humanitarian aid worker, Petr Jasek, 52, had been sentenced to life in prison in Sudan. Now, after spending 446 days incarcerated, Jasek was “pardoned” and set free by the Sudanese government on February 26.
Jasek, from the Czech Republic, got in trouble for raising money for a young Darfuri that had been severely burned during a student protest. His crime was described as spying against Sudan. According to the Sudan Tribune: “On 29 January, a Sudanese court sentenced Jasek to life imprisonment for spying against the Sudan and disseminating reports – via an “American organisation hostile to Sudan” – including alleged persecution of Christians in the country, and the bombardment of civilian populated areas in the Nuba Mountains of South Kordofan State.”
The Sudan Tribune reported that Jasek was released into the care of Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek who came to Khartoum for talks on bilateral relations. Zaoralek and Sudan’s Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour held a joint press conference on Sunday, the 26th. Ghandour said President al-Bashir released Jasek “in appreciation for the historic relations between Sudan and the Czech republic,” according to the paper.
“Al-Bashir has taken into account the bilateral ties between the two nations, and the Czech Foreign Minister would receive the Czech citizen and he will leave for his country today,” said Ghandour.
Apparently the Sudanese regime did not have enough appreciation for historic relations between Sudan and Czech republic not to treat Jasek with shocking brutality. The World Watch Monitor reported Jasek’s account of enduring both psychological and physical torture during his 14 months in prison.